India vs Pakistan clash at 2023 World Cup likely to be rescheduled over major ‘security’ concerns

Team India is scheduled to take on arch-rivals Pakistan on October 15 at the marquee ODI World Cup later this year. The schedule may have already been finalised and made public last month by the International Cricket Council (ICC), but there could be a massive tweak in the date for one of the most iconic clash in the tournament this year.

According to a report by Indian Express, the date for the India vs Pakistan clash could be changed as October 15 marks the first day of ‘Navratri’, a festival celebrated with night-long Garba dance, particularly in the state of Gujarat.

The report states that agencies have advised the BCCI to reschedule the game due to security concerns. “We are mulling the options that we have and a decision will be taken soon. We have been told by the security agencies that a high-profile game like India vs Pakistan, for which thousands of travelling fans are expected to reach Ahmedabad, should be avoided since they will be stretched because of Navratri,” a source told the Indian Express.

If the game is indeed rescheduled, it could prove to be a huge logistical nightmare; many fans have already finalised travel plans on dates surrounding the India-Pakistan clash, and reports from local media have also suggested that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have also enquired about Ahmedabad hospitals over availability of beds before and after the night game.

Thus, there’s likely to be mass cancellations of hotel bookings if the rescheduling takes place. Interestingly, with a little over two months to go for the tournament’s opener (also scheduled in Ahmedabad between England and New Zealand), there’s no update on the sale of tickets, adding to the frustration of fans. With a possibility of, perhaps, the biggest game of the group stage, being rescheduled, BCCI might as well prepare for outrage from fans on social media platforms.

The report from Indian Express has also stated that BCCI secretary Jay Shah has asked members of all hosting venues to gather for a meeting in New Delhi on July 27 (Thursday), where a decision might be taken on the India-Pakistan clash.

“I feel it will be in the best interest of all concerned that we meet again to exchange notes and take stock of any issue which needs discussion and decision. Accordingly, you are hereby requested to attend a meeting of the World Cup hosting associations,” the letter read.

The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is scheduled to host four group games in the World Cup, including the final of the tournament on November 19.

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