A warm-up match of the upcoming ODI World Cup involving Pakistan and New Zealand will have to be played behind closed doors, without any spectators.

This after the Hyderabad city police expressed its inability to provide adequate security for the September 29 match to the host, Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA). The match is scheduled a day after two major festivals that would involve mass gatherings – Ganesh Visarjan (immersion) and Milad-un-Nabi in the city.

“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,” a BCCI official said. “There will continue to be full security for both the teams during their stay and transit to the stadium.”

The BCCI in consultation with the

staging association and their ticketing partners will make arrangements to refund tickets to the spectators.

The news would disappoint the Hyderabad cricket fans. Other than two warm-up ties, Hyderabad is hosting only three group matches in the World Cup, none involving India.

Earlier, HCA had also asked BCCI to make a change to the back-to-back matches scheduled on October 9 and 10 involving New Zealand-Netherlands and Pakistan-Sri Lanka respectively in the city. This was also based on security feedback from the local police. Following BCCI’s communication that a late change in dates would not be possible, that request has been accommodated by the security authorities.

Pakistan are playing four (two warm-up, two group games) of their eleven matches in the World Cup at Hyderabad.
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