Days before the 2023 World Cup tickets go on sale, the BCCI has been put in a spot by the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) which has raised a concern about hosting back-to-back ODIs on October 9 and 10.
ESPNcricinfo has learned that, on Saturday, the HCA alerted the BCCI that the Hyderabad Police was concerned about providing adequate security for two matches – New Zealand vs Netherlands on October 9 and Pakistan vs Sri Lanka on October 10. It is understood that the BCCI has told the HCA that it will examine the issue and respond.
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The HCA concern comes five days before the first batch of World Cup tickets go on sale, on August 25. The ICC announced the dates for a staggered sale of tickets after it was forced to revise the original World Cup schedule which comprised changing the dates for nine matches, including the one between India and Pakistan in Ahmedabad – the marquee contest was shifted from October 15 to October 14. But that resulted in Pakistan’s match against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad being pushed from October 12 to October 10 to give Babar Azam’s team an adequate gap leading into their India match. It could not be confirmed whether the BCCI had spoken to HCA when the revised schedule was finalised.
The HCA, which is currently being supervised by a Supreme Court-appointed administrator, is also understood to be unsure as to whether all four teams can get adequate practice at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Sri Lanka will travel to Hyderabad on October 8, after having played a day-night match in Delhi on October 7, against South Africa. Both Pakistan and Netherlands will open their campaign in Hyderabad, contesting each other on October 6, and will remain there for their second group match. New Zealand, who play Netherlands on October 9, will reach Hyderabad after playing the tournament opener against England on October 5 in Ahmedabad.
It is understood that in case the BCCI is unable to make any schedule tweaks, the HCA will try and garner enough resources, including security personnel, to ensure the matches go smoothly.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo