India vs Pakistan World Cup contest could be rescheduled because of Navratri

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In a move that could impact the overall ODI World Cup schedule, the BCCI is considering moving the most high-profile match of the tournament – India vs Pakistan in Ahmedabad – from October 15 to October 14.

The reason for the change, ESPNcricinfo has learned, is that October 15 is also the first day of the Hindu festival of Navaratri, and the local police has told the BCCI that it would find it difficult to take care of security on the day.

It is understood that the BCCI has alerted the ICC about the issue, but no concrete decision has been taken yet. The BCCI is expected to have a meeting with all the state associations that are hosting World Cup matches on July 27 before a final call is taken.

The original World Cup schedule has October 14 down as a double-header day: England play Afghanistan in a day match in Delhi and New Zealand play Bangladesh in day-night game in Chennai. Incidentally, there are no triple-headers scheduled, though there are two matches on six days.

India, who open their World Cup campaign on October 8 with a game against Australia in Chennai, would have also played Afghanistan on October 11 in Delhi before the game against Pakistan, while their next fixture is against Bangladesh on October 19 in Pune.

As for Pakistan, they play Netherlands in Hyderabad on October 6, the second day of the tournament, and Sri Lanka on October 12, also in Hyderabad, before playing India, followed by their fourth game, against Australia in Bengaluru on October 20.

Therefore, in case the game moves to October 14, Pakistan will have just a day between their games in Hyderabad and in Ahmedabad, while India will have two days’ gap.

The development comes roughly a month after the BCCI announced the World Cup schedule, which itself was severely delayed. While the BCCI has not yet announced any information on when matches tickets will go on sale, fans and other stakeholders have already booked flights and hotels in Ahmedabad for the match, which has historically been one of the most watched sporting events globally.

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