Hyderabad seeks change in World Cup fixtures, wants to avoid back-to-back matches

Mumbai: Just a few days after changing the schedule of nine matches during the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has received another request for a change in fixtures for the event to be held across India in October-November this year.

The request has come from the Hyderabad Cricket Association after the local police raised concerns over hosting back-to-back matches, including the marque clash between former champions Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal in Hyderabad is scheduled to host the New  Zealand versus the Netherlands clash on October 9 followed by a match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on the next day.

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The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) is scheduled to host only three of the 45 matches with the Pakistan-Sri Lanka match scheduled for October 12. But with the BCCI reworking fixtures for nine matches to accommodate clashes with other schedules to avoid security hassles, the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match was moved ahead to October 10 from its original date of October 12.

This was done to give the 1992 World Cup winners enough time to prepare for their much-anticipated clash with hosts India at Ahmedabad on August 14.

According to multiple reports from Hyderabad, the HCA has sent in an official request for a change in the schedule to ensure a sufficient gap between the two matches.

The Hyderabad Police have informed HCA that organising back-to-back matches may result in them failing to provide adequate security to the Pakistan team it will also require posting a sufficient number of troops at the stadium and the team hotel. Apparently, the HCA was not consulted before the Pakistan-Sri Lanka match was moved ahead.

It is now to be seen how BCCI will respond to this request as it has already faced severe criticism from foreign media over the first change of schedule.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will also not be happy as that might mean they will have fewer days of rest before or after the back-to-back matches.