In a recent development, it is rumored that the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 game between Pakistan and England, which was set to take place on November 12 in Kolkata, will now be shifted to another date.
This is because the scheduled date of the match is clashing with Kali Puja, which is one of the most significant Hindu festivals in that part of India.
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According to reports, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) received a request from the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) after the city police informed them about their inability to provide security during the match.
Although the Kolkata Police did not officially reach out to the CAB, there are sources that say that the police are worried about the unavoidable chaos on the day of the festival.
With the game currently scheduled on the same day as Kali Puja, the police would have to shoulder the responsibility of managing the Kali Puja proceedings, along with overseeing a World Cup match involving Pakistan, which would require additional security.
Pakistan's World Cup match against India in jeopardy
A similar dilemma was faced by the BCCI as well as the ICC when Ahmedabad Police brought to light that they would not be able to provide tight security on October 15 for India's highly intense game against arch-rivals Pakistan, owing to the commencement of nine-day Hindu festival – Navaratri – on the same day.
Navaratri is a festival of significant importance in the state of Gujarat, to which Ahmedabad belongs.
Reports suggested that the India-Pakistan encounter had been shifted a day back to October 14, but the news has not been officially confirmed or verified by the BCCI and ICC.
With dates of two Pakistan games clashing with Hindu festivals, the security forces of both Kolkata and Ahmedabad have been put in a tricky situation.
Also, some participating boards requested the BCCI secretary – Jay Shah – to make certain amendments to the schedule keeping in mind the distance and travel time between the venues of their games.
The schedule for the mega-event was released on June 27; only a hundred days away from the start of the tournament. However, the final adjusted schedule is still to be released. Moreover, there is still no information about the release of tickets with the first game of the World Cup less than two months away.
If the game between India and Pakistan is preponed from October 15 to October 14, it would mean that Pakistan would have to play two games in three days. On October 12, Pakistan will lock horns with the Netherlands in Hyderabad, on the eastern side of India.
A game on October 14 would require them to travel to Ahmedabad, in the far west of the country, immediately after the match and would barely give them any time to rest, recover or train.
On the other hand, the match between Pakistan and England is likely to be shifted to November 11. This is because the knockouts are scheduled to begin on November 15.
If the game is postponed to November 13 instead of being preponed to November 11, it would be at the cost of what was supposed to be a rest day for the teams ahead of the semi-finals.
It is expected that the final schedule for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, after making the required changes, will be released in the coming week.