Hyderabad: The warm-up match between Pakistan and New Zealand for the upcoming ODI World Cup will be held without spectators due to security concerns. The Hyderabad city police cited their inability to provide adequate security for the match on September 29, which falls shortly after two major festivals in the city – Ganesh Visarjan and Milad-un-Nabi – that involve large gatherings.
The decision to play the match behind closed doors was taken after concerns were raised about security for the cricket match due to the late-night processions from these festivals. However, full security measures will be maintained for both teams during their stay and transit to the stadium.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in collaboration with the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) and their ticketing partners, will arrange for ticket refunds to spectators affected by this decision.
Earlier, HCA had requested a change in the schedule for back-to-back matches on October 9 and 10, featuring New Zealand-Netherlands and Pakistan-Sri Lanka, respectively. This request was also made based on security feedback from local police. Although a late change in dates was not feasible, security authorities have now accommodated this request.
In total, Pakistan is scheduled to play four matches, including two warm-up games, in Hyderabad out of their eleven matches in the World Cup.