HYDERABAD: The World Cup warm-up match between Pakistan and New Zealand to be played at the RGIC Stadium here on September 29 will be a closed-door affair as the city police have expressed their inability to provide security for the match. The cops said they will be fully stretched in view of the Ganesh immersion and Milad-un-Nabi celebrations in the city on Sept 28.
Sources said that the Ganesh immersion spillover to Sept 29 will keep the cops on their toes and given the situation, it has been learnt that the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has informed the Rachakonda police that spectators will not be allowed for the warm-up match.
Kode Durga Prasad, who is assisting the Supreme Court-appointed one-man committee Justice (retd) L Nageswara Rao in administering the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) affairs, confirmed the development to TOI on Tuesday. “Discussions have been going on for the last few days regarding the security arrangements for the warm-up match on September 29 as it is coming on the heels of the two festivals. The police have said that they will be hard-pressed to provide security for that game because of the Ganesh immersion. After much thought, it was decided to play the match behind closed doors.
“I have already apprised BCCI secretary Jay Shah and vice-president Rajeev Shukla (in-charge of the Hyderabad venue) about it. The officials have in principle agreed to it. We wrote to the BCCI yesterday regarding the security issue and the need to play the match behind closed doors. We are waiting for the BCCI to officially communicate the news. In fact, the secretary has told BCCI in-charge CEO Hemang Amin to do the needful,” he added.
Durga Prasad, former DGP of the CRPF, also said the other warm-up match on October 3 between Australia and Pakistan will be played in front of spectators. The other three World Cup matches — Pakistan vs Netherlands (Oct 6), New Zealand vs Netherlands (Oct 9) and Pakistan vs Sri Lanka (Oct 10) — will be held as per schedule, he added.