Australia will be playing its fifth and final T20I match against India in Bengaluru instead of Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on December 3.
Top sources have confirmed to Sportstar that the game has been shifted to the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium as the police department is under ‘immense pressure’ to provide security to the visiting teams due to the upcoming elections.
The Telangana assembly elections will be held on November 30, and the counting of votes will be done on December 3, the day the match is scheduled in Uppal.
“The police department didn’t give us the requisite permission to host the match as on that day the counting will happen. It’s really unfortunate, but we can’t do much,” a senior Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) official said.
According to the earlier schedule, Australia will begin its five-match T20I series in Vishakapatnam on November 23 and then travel to Thiruvananthapuram, with the next stops being at Guwahati and Nagpur.
And now, the Matthew Wade-led 15-member side will end the series in Bengaluru before taking a flight back to Melbourne.
“We had multiple meetings with the BCCI and requested them for a change in schedule. We could have hosted on December 4, but the board said that the tickets to Australia are already booked and they cannot reschedule the game.
“Australia will be taking a morning flight to New Delhi on December 4 and will then head to their country” the source added.
Security issues have robbed Hyderabad of hosting the Indian Racing League (IRL) and the cancellation of an India cricket match has punctured the spirits of the HCA.
“From the dressing room to seating arrangements, we did everything, and we were expecting a good turnout as we didn’t get an India game to host in this World Cup. The pending work has been finished. This development is definitely a setback,” he said.
Hyderabad hosted back-to-back World Cup 2023 matches on October 9 and 10, where New Zealand took on the Netherlands and Sri Lanka took on Pakistan the other day.
There was a communication breakdown between the HCA and the police department, as a section of the media involving foreign journalists wasn’t initially allowed to witness the Sri Lankan team’s practice session.
“Honestly, the issue could have been sorted out as we saw during the World Cup games that we have the capacity to host games. But we have been assured by the BCCI that we will be compensated in terms of allotment of India matches,” the source added.
“I can’t divulge further details on what match will be given to HCA. Hyderabad losing out on hosting sporting events doesn’t help for the growth of the sporting community.”
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