Pakistan, New Zealand warm-up match to be held without spectators

Pakistan team celebrate during the fourth ODI against New Zealand in Karachi, on May 5, 2023. — X/@TheRealPCB

LAHORE: Pakistan’s warm-up match against New Zealand ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 will take place behind closed doors over “security concerns” in Hyderabad, India.

The decision to hold the warm-up match between the Green Shirts and the Kiwis will be held without spectators after the Hyderabad city police — citing two major religious festivals, Ganesh Visarjan and  Eid Milad-un-Nabi in the city — expressed their inability to provide adequate security for the match scheduled for the match scheduled to be held on September 29, Indian media reported.

According to an official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), “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. There will continue to be full security for both the teams during their stay and transit to the stadium.”

The BCCI, in collaboration with the hosting association and ticketing partners, will arrange for ticket refunds for the affected spectators.

Previously, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) had requested a change in the schedule for back-to-back matches scheduled for October 9 and 10, involving New Zealand-Netherlands and Pakistan-Sri Lanka, respectively, in the city due to security concerns raised by local police. Although a late change in dates was not feasible, security authorities have accommodated this request.

It must be noted that Pakistan is set to play a total of eleven matches in the World Cup, with four of them, including two warm-up matches and two group games, scheduled to take place in Hyderabad.

The Men in Green are expected to arrive in Hyderabad via Dubai on September 27.

Pakistan’s schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:

October 6 – vs Netherlands in Hyderabad

October 10 – vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad

October 14 – vs India in Ahmedabad

October 20 – vs Australia in Bengaluru

October 23 – vs Afghanistan in Chennai

October 27 – vs South Africa in Chennai

October 31 – vs Bangladesh in Kolkata

November 4 – vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)

November 11 – vs England in Kolkata

The day matches will start at 10:00 am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30 pm (PST).

If Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata.

If India qualifies for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.

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