BCCI set for another setback over Pakistan's Eden Gardens World Cup game | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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BCCI set for another setback over Pakistan's Eden Gardens game days after receiving complaints over World Cup schedule

Aug 06, 2023 08:22 AM IST

While CAB chief denied that the board sent any request to ICC for a change in schedule, senior members have revealed that Kolkata Police has raised a concern.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could be in for another headache just a week after BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed that the 2023 ODI World Cup schedule will be changed after "several Full Member countries" complained regarding the fixture of the tournament. These new developments happened exactly a month after BCCI and ICC announced the long-awaited schedule for the World Cup with the competition beginning in India from October 5 onwards at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Pakistan will face England on November 12 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata
Pakistan will face England on November 12 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata

On Saturday, a report on PTI revealed that the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has urged the ICC recce team to change the schedule for the World Cup match between Pakistan and England on November 12 given that the game will coincide with Kali Puja.

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It is the second biggest festival in West Bengal and will happen almost a fortnight after the conclusion of the Durga Puja. With thousands of local clubs in Kolkata set to organise events on Kali Puja, a large police deployment will be stationed across the city to maintain law and order situation, thereby making it impossible for a separate lot to be deployed for Eden Gardens duty.

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While CAB president Snehasish Ganguly denied that the board sent any request to ICC for a change in schedule, senior members have revealed to PTI that Kolkata Police has raised a security issue.

"Kolkata Police has cited concerns to provide security for the match slated on Diwali. We have informed the ICC and BCCI to reschedule it and if it does not happen we would inform this to the the chief minister," a senior CAB office-bearer, who was part of the meeting with the 17-member ICC and BCCI inspection team, said.

The CAB chief in fact remained tightlipped on the issue and rather awaits an official confirmation over the matter before taking it forward to the ICC.

"We have not yet got anything officially from the Kolkata Police," Snehasish, elder brother of former BCCI president and India captain Sourav Ganguly, said. "Unless we get something officially, we can't inform the ICC. Security issue is being taken care of by the Kolkata Police. That is not our look-out. As I said, we have not got anything officially, if we get anything we will inform ICC."

The report further added that some of the top officials of CAB had in fact gone to the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar a few days back, which Snehasish called it as a "courtesy call".

"We went to Kolkata Police for a courtesy visit two days ago, we had a discussion with them. The schedule, plan and how we are preparing the stadium were discussed," he said.

Meanwhile, a report in ESPNCricinfo claims that CAB has already made the request to BCCI to move the date of the England-Pakistan match from November 12 to 11, a development which happened after Kolkata Police informed CAB that they are expecting an increase in security for the Pakistan match.

'ODI World Cup schedule will undergo changes'

Last week, BCCI secretary had confirmed that many Full Member nations of the ICC had written to the board for a change in schedule owing to logistical challenges.

"There is a possibility there could be few changes in the schedule" Shah had said after a BCCI meeting in Delhi. "Several Full Member countries have written in requesting to change two or three dates in the schedule. We are working out with the ICC, and we should be able to clear it in two or three days."

One of the main World Cup fixture set to undergo a change of date is the blockbuster clash between India and Pakistan in Ahmedabad. Reports claimed that local police will be unable to provide adequate security on the matchday - October 15 - as it will be the first day of Navratri.

Dismissing the claims, Shah said: "If security was an issue then why would the match go there (to Ahmedabad). [October] 14-15 is not the problem. Two or three boards have written in, asking to change based on the logistical challenges. There are some matches where there is only a two-day gap, so it will be difficult to play and then travel next day [and then play again]."

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