Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) will not play their two previously advertised matches in the upcoming Karbonn Smartt Champions League in the State of Hyderabad due to lack of security.
Andhra Pradesh state police have informed the Champions League committee that they would not be able to provide adequate security for the matches as they clash with the Ganesh immersion festival.
The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) had stated that the question mark over security was only restricted to the qualifiers and they were confident the police would provide adequate security for the group games.
However, officials of the Champions League would hear none of it and have decided to move all the qualifiers as well as group stage matches from the Central Indian City. In total, 12 matches will be removed from the Stadium—including two that T&T was due to play in.
The games have now been moved to Mohali, Ranchi and Ahmedabad. T&T was due to play Australia’s Brisbane Heat on September 24 at Hyderabad. This match has now been moved to Mohali in the East.
The other match which involve T&T and one of the qualifiers has been shifted to Ahmedabad in the West of the country.
In an immediate reaction manager of the national team Omar Khan said security was the most important thing. “We would have liked to play at Hyderabad because most of the players are familiar to the conditions there, having played in two Champions Leagues there however security is one of major concern and we have to no problems playing elsewhere. The guys are all professionals and wherever they put them to play, they just have to adjust to the conditions and play accordingly.
“The last thing you want is that guys go out there to play and fear for their safety. When you go out to play you want to be comfortable to play your trade.
‘We will be ready wherever they put us to play.” This isn’t the first time Hyderabad has been stripped of matches in recent years. In the 2010 IPL, all of Deccan Chargers’ home games were played at Nagpur, Cuttack and Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium due to political agitations in the state.
The Champions League officials also made a decision earlier this year, that no matches will be played in Chennai because of tensions there concerning the locals and the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Chennai Super Kings finished second in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and qualified for the Champions League but have not been given any home matches.
Last year the Champions League was shifted to South Africa because the police could not guarantee security in Calcutta because of the Durga Festival and also because they were expecting monsoon rains. (Trinidad Guardian)