Teams' travel plans changed due to unavailability of hotel rooms

Delay in travel plans for India's and England's teams was "prescheduled" owing to lack of availability of rooms in the Bhubaneswar-based Mayfair hotel, according to Odisha Cricket Association.

Barabati Stadium in Cuttack will host the second ODI between India and England.   -  K. R. Deepak

Trashing allegations of ‘lack of planning’ for the second One-Day International (ODI) between India and England in Cuttack, the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) on Tuesday affirmed that the delayed travel plans of both the cricket teams for the match here on Thursday was “prescheduled”.

“Due to unavailability of hotel accommodation for the players, it was decided much in advance that the players would arrive here just a day before the match and the BCCI was aware of it ever since the itinerary was fixed,” said OCA member Asirbad Behera, who relinquished his post as OCA secretary a fortnight ago.

“The Mayfair Hotel at Bhubaneswar was approached about four months ago. But the rooms were not available. We can book rooms only when they are available”, Behera said rebuking the reports that both the teams were stranded in Pune after Sunday’s match due to poor planning by OCA.

This was also confirmed by the hotel authorities, who said that their rooms were booked six months ago. “The OCA had approached us immediately after BCCI allotted the match to it. But our rooms were booked much before that,” said a manager of the Bhubaneswar-based star hotel.

Addressing local media on January 4, Behera had also informed about it saying that the teams were to arrive in Bhubaneswar in the afternoon of January 18 and will head straight to the stadium here for net practices in the same evening. Local managers of both the teams on Tuesday confirmed that both the teams will practice under the floodlights from 5 pm on Thursday.