The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has identified an alternative plan that will allow all four participating teams to get adequate practice when they arrive in the city to play the group-stage matches of the 2023 World Cup.
Pakistan, Netherlands, New Zealand and Sri Lanka will be travelling to Hyderabad to play their World Cup matches between October 6-10.
However, there was some apprehension about whether all four teams could get adequate practice time with only the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, the venue for the World Cup games, listed as the only practice venue.
To meet the net session demands and allow teams to go through their drills without any chock-a-block situations, the HCA has decked up the Gymkhana ground as the second practice venue.
In an exclusive interaction with Sportstar, K. Durga Prasad, former Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force, who is assisting former Supreme Court appointed judge Justice L. Nageswara Rao to oversee HCA affairs, informed that they have relaid the entire Gymkhana ground for the visiting teams.
“We may have to accommodate one of the teams in the other ground and that’s why the whole Gymkhana ground has been relaid. Even the ground is equipped with a pop-up sprinkler system and has all the practice facilities. We are ready and confident to host a successful World Cup,” Prasad said on Thursday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will be shortlisting the practice venues list soon, and the HCA has submitted the Gymkhana ground as the second practice venue along with the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Pakistan and Netherlands will be the first teams to touch base in Hyderabad to play the second match of the World Cup on October 6 and both teams will extend their stay over the next four days with the Dutch meeting New Zealand on October 9 and the men in green playing their second game against Sri Lanka on October 10.
Sri Lanka will most likely land in Hyderabad on October 8 evening after having played its opener against South Africa on October 7 in New Delhi.
HCA ready to host back-to-back games
The first week of October will witness the city bustling with fans from different parts of the country as well as abroad, and the stadium will witness hectic movement with back-to-back day and night games on October 9 and 10.
The senior IPS officer informed that adequate measures have been taken and a blueprint has been laid for the smooth conduct of the marquee event.
Regarding the security apparatus and the large columns of police personnel who will be combing the radius of the stadium, Prasad said that the HCA and the city police will work in unison.
“The Commissioner of Police, Rachakonda, has graciously said that there won’t be any problem hosting back-to-back matches and if a decision is taken, the country is going with it, we will stand it. The Commissioner has stood us by our side one hundred per cent and he has given the confidence that there is no need to worry,” Prasad said.
Further elaborating on the security measures, the senior police official said, “Teams will be provided with layered security right from the main gate, to the entrance to the dressing room. There will be multiple layers of security and that will be provided by us (HCA) along with the local police.
“That’s a small component in the larger scale of things and there won’t be any compromise on security. From our side, we will do everything that is required to host a successful World Cup and things will be in place before the first game starts.”
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