The highly anticipated India-Pakistan World Cup clash scheduled for October 15 in Ahmedabad is likely to be rescheduled due to security concerns and clashes with the festive occasion of Navratri. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had initially slotted the thrilling encounter on the first day of Navratri, a festival celebrated with mass participation in Gujarat during Garba nights.
However, security agencies have advised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to reconsider the itinerary. A top BCCI official, who preferred to remain anonymous, stated, “We are mulling the options that we have, and a decision will be taken soon. We have been told by the security agencies that a high-profile game like India vs Pakistan, for which thousands of traveling fans are expected to reach Ahmedabad, should be avoided since they will be stretched because of Navratri.”
The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, with a capacity of nearly 1 lakh, had been selected for four marquee World Cup matches, including the India-Pakistan clash, the tournament opener between New Zealand and England, England vs Australia, and the final.
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The World Cup event will span across 10 cities, with Mumbai and Kolkata hosting the semifinals. Reports from Ahmedabad indicate that most hotels are already fully booked for mid-October, and even homestay options have been exhausted.
Anticipating the rescheduling of the match, a surge in airfares is also expected, leaving fans with logistical challenges to rearrange their travel plans. If the new date for the India-Pakistan game is announced, mass cancellations and frenzied bookings are likely to follow.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah has invited the associations hosting World Cup matches to attend a meeting in New Delhi on July 27. During the meeting, the board is expected to address the security concerns surrounding Ahmedabad and finalize a new date for the India-Pakistan clash. As the excitement builds for this high-stakes encounter, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the decision that will ensure a smooth and memorable experience for fans and players alike.