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Cuttack might miss out on hosting India vs New Zealand T20 International

Bali Yatra, a prominent festival in Orissa, is scheduled for the same date


Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack

What’s the Story?

On the 1st of August, India’s international calendar from September to December, was released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Cuttack has been declared a venue for a T20 International clash on November 4 between India and New Zealand.

However, the venue might miss out on hosting the contest as the festival of Bali Yatra also commences on that day. Dhiren Pillai, the Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) Working Committee Chairman, talked about the possibility of the Barabati Stadium hosting the game.

“Holding an international match at that time at Barabati Stadium will not be possible as more than 10 lakh people throng to witness the yatra necessitating deployment of more than 45 platoons of police, along with quick action teams and rapid action forces. Besides, the district administration, which organises the yatra, remains on the tenterhooks for nearly a fortnight,” – Pillai said.

The Chairman was also mentioned that they approached the BCCI regarding the matter. “We have told the board why we are unable to hold the T20 match between India and New Zealand on November 4. We have sought allotment of any other international match between October end and after November 20,”- he added

In case you didn’t know….

During the BCCI’s meet on Tuesday, India has been allotted 23 international games till the end of the year. The Indian team will take part in Tests, ODIs and T20Is against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Two stadiums in Assam and Kerala are all set to make their debuts in international cricket when India lock horns with Australia and New Zealand respectively in a couple of T20 Internationals.

The Details

Bali Yatra is a festival, celebrated in Orissa, which lasts for a week. On the day of Kartik Purnima, the festival starts. The carnival takes place in the city of Cuttack at the Gadagadai Ghata of the Mahanadi River.   

It is said to be the largest festival of the Orissa state and is considered a big occasion in the city. It’s conducted during the end of November when Kartik Purnima takes center-stage.  

What’s Next?

The Orissa cricket board has written to the BCCI regarding the clash of dates. However, it be interesting to see whether the Barabati Stadium goes on to host a game or not.

Author’s Take

This isn’t the first time a match at the Barabati Stadium has been threatened by external factors. In 2015 during South Africa’s T20I game against India, the crowd at the stadium went berserk and started hurling bottles inside the ground.

While it will be unfortunate for the game to be cancelled, timings of festivals can’t be compromised. In this scenario, the BCCI should be considerate enough to allot them a game when the festival ends.

For the time being, the Orissa Cricket board can only keep their fingers crossed and hope for something positive.

 

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