India takes big decision on Pak vs NZ World Cup warm-up match

World Cup warm-up match

ISLAMABAD: In an unexpected turn of events, the World Cup warm-up match between Pakistan and New Zealand, scheduled for September 29, will be played without spectators at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad due to concerns over security arrangements and the impact of ongoing festivals.

The decision comes as the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) struggled to provide adequate security amidst the Ganesh Visarjan and Milan-Un-Nabi festivals, both culminating on September 28.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that fans who have purchased tickets for the match will receive refunds through Bookmyshow, the World Cup’s ticketing partner.

A BCCI official confirmed, “The game will be played without spectators, and those who have booked their tickets, their money will be refunded.”

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Security agencies had earlier raised concerns about the back-to-back World Cup 2023 league games scheduled for October 9 and October 10 at the same venue. The October 10th match involves Pakistan and Sri Lanka, while the game on the 9th features New Zealand and the Netherlands. Approximately 3,000 police personnel will be deployed for each match, with a significant presence at the hotel where the Pakistan team will be accommodated.

The original itinerary for the 2023 World Cup underwent significant changes, including the rescheduling of nine games. The much-anticipated India-Pakistan showdown, initially set for October 15 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, was moved up by a day to avoid a clash with the Navratri festival, which holds great cultural significance in Gujarat.

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