The much-anticipated clash between Team India and arch-rivals Pakistan, scheduled for October 15 in the prestigious ODI World Cup, may face a significant change in date. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had already finalised and announced the schedule last month, but there is now a possibility of rescheduling this iconic match. A report by Indian Express indicates that the reason behind this potential change is the celebration of 'Navratri,' a festival observed with night-long Garba dance, especially in the state of Gujarat.
Security advice to reconsider date
Security concerns have been raised, prompting agencies to advise the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to reconsider the game's date. The security agencies have cautioned against hosting the high-profile India vs. Pakistan match on October 15, as it coincides with Navratri, and thousands of traveling fans are expected to converge in Ahmedabad for the game. The agencies fear being stretched thin due to the festival's demands, necessitating a cautious approach.
Rescheduling the match, however, could lead to logistical challenges and disruptions for fans. Many supporters have already finalised their travel plans, with hotels likely to face mass cancellations if the date change occurs. Local media reports have even suggested that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have inquired about bed availability in Ahmedabad hospitals before and after the night game, underlining the significance of this high-profile encounter.
Interestingly, despite the tournament's opening match (England vs. New Zealand) being scheduled in Ahmedabad, ticket sales updates remain elusive, further frustrating fans. The possibility of the India-Pakistan match, arguably the most significant fixture of the group stage, being rescheduled could spark outrage on social media platforms.
Final decision to be awaited
The BCCI Secretary, Jay Shah, has called for a meeting in New Delhi on July 27, involving members of all hosting venues, where a decision regarding the India-Pakistan clash might be taken.
“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 located in Ahmedabad has been designated to host four group stage matches during the upcoming World Cup, with the tournament's grand finale taking place on November 19.