A warm-up match scheduled for the upcoming ODI World Cup between Pakistan and New Zealand will be held behind closed doors, without any spectators. The decision comes as a result of security concerns in Hyderabad, where the match is set to take place on September 29.
Hyderabad city police have expressed their inability to provide adequate security for the event due to two major festivals, Ganesh Visarjan and Milad-un-Nabi, which will involve mass gatherings and processions on the same day as the match.
A BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) official explained, “The processions will go on late into the night, and the local police would not be able to provide adequate security for a match of this scale.” However, it’s important to note that there will still be full security measures in place for both teams during their stay and transit to the stadium.
The decision to hold the warm-up match without spectators was made in consultation with the hosting association and their ticketing partners. The BCCI will also work on refunding tickets to those who had already purchased them.
In addition to this development, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) had requested the BCCI to change the dates of two back-to-back matches scheduled for October 9 and 10. These matches involve New Zealand vs. Netherlands and Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka, respectively. The request for a date change was made based on security feedback from local police. However, the BCCI informed the HCA that late changes in dates would not be feasible, but the security authorities have taken steps to accommodate this request.
Pakistan is set to play four of their eleven World Cup matches in Hyderabad, including two warm-up matches and two group-stage games. The decision to hold these matches behind closed doors ensures the safety and security of the teams and the public during a time of significant festivals and gatherings in the city.