Changes in original schedule of ODI World Cup expected in coming days; Bumrah is fully fit: Jay Shah (ld)

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) BCCI secretary Jay Shah said on Thursday that changes in the original schedule of the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup is expected to be made in next few days, without specifying if it also includes the highly-anticipated India-Pakistan clash at Ahmedabad, while adding that fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah is fully fit and might go to Ireland for T20Is.

IANS had reported on Wednesday that the BCCI officials during their meeting with representatives of ODI World Cup hosting state venues in the national capital, will also discuss the change of India-Pakistan match date from October 15, owing to its clash with the first day of Navaratri festival.

With the marquee match of the World Cup clashing with the first day of the Navaratri, the local police have told the BCCI that it would find it difficult to take care of security on the day.

“You can expect to see some changes in the original World Cup schedule which will be cleared in the coming two, three or four days, following some requests for changes from two to three member boards. The changes will be there in the schedule, but not in venues. The ICC and BCCI logistics teams are looking into it,” said Shah in a press conference.

“A few members have requested (changes) as they have short gaps between two matches while they have a long gap of six days before their other games. We are trying to just change the date and time of matches while the venues are retained. Things will be sorted in a few days and these things happen in World Cups,” he added.

Shah also informed that Bumrah fully fit could play in the T20I series against Ireland in August.

The pacer last played competitive cricket in September 2022 during T20Is against Australia, before a recurrence in back injury meant he has been out of action since then. He has been undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru since undergoing back surgery in New Zealand in March this year.

BCCI had said in a medical update last week that Bumrah was bowling with full intensity in the nets.

“Bumrah is fully fit and he may go to Ireland. There will be consistency in player selections for Asia Cup and World Cup,” Shah said.

Asked about the release of tickets for the ODI World Cup, the BCCI secretary said that the e-tickets system won’t be kept.

“The ICC and BCCI will announce jointly on the ticket pricing and everything. Our ticketing partner has also been finalised. What we will do is, we will keep physical tickets and will arrange for seven-eight places in the city to redeem your physical ticket before matches happen,” Shah said.

Talking about the amenities for fans at venues during the ODI World Cup, the 34-year old revealed they are working on providing free drinking water for spectators when matches are on, with priority on upgradation of facilities at all stadiums towards housekeeping, toilets and hygiene via an agency.

“We have taken a decision on drinking water and have tied up with Coca Cola, which is an official ICC partner for serving complimentary drinking water at the venues,” he said.

Highlighting on improving accessibility to venues, Shah remarked, “I have directed all state associations to put proper signage towards reaching stadiums as it will become hassle-free for the viewers on match days. On top of this, with venues being connected by metros, we would encourage the viewers to come via metros. Like, the stadium in Mumbai (Wankhede Stadium) is connected via local train and even for Delhi too.”

Asked about the appointment of the women’s head coach, Shah said, “CAC has already done a round of interviews. But CAC also feels that a bowling as well as fielding coach need to be appointed for the women’s team. We are going through the process for the same.”

He further revealed that BCCI president Roger Binny and NCA head VVS Laxman will speak to captain Harmanpreet Kaur over her on-field outburst during the tied third ODI against Bangladesh, which led her to a two-match ban as well as four demerit points and 75% match fee fine.

“The BCCI President and Laxman will speak to her about the outburst. With the suspension now being handed, nothing can’t be done. Anyways, the time for the appeal (against the suspension) has also gone,” he said.

Shah also announced that India A’ shadow tours will resume soon — one to be taken before the tour of South Africa, while the other will happen before England arrive for five Tests next year.

“England A will come to India and India A will go to South Africa. We have to field multiple teams of India across the glove for other boards to survive financially,” he concluded.

–IANS

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