The Babar Azam-led team got a roaring welcome at the Hyderabad airport on Wednesday before it was taken to the team hotel in the heart of the city amid tight security. The team will be here for almost two weeks.
Police officials are having to stretch themselves due to the festivities around the Ganesh idol immersion that coincides with warm-up games of the World Cup.
For the same reason, Pakistan’s opening warm-up game on Friday will be played without spectators as the police cannot provide adequate security.
The squad arrived at the stadium on Thursday with six police vans part of the cavalcade. The team buses of Pakistan and New Zealand exited the stadium together. Nothing is being left to chance even in the team hotel.
“The team is fully satisfied with security whether it is at the stadium or at the hotel,” said a PCB source.
While the warm-up game on Friday will require around 200 Police personnel at the stadium, the number will go up to 800, when spectators return for the next warm up game on October 3.
“There is no threat to any team in the competition including Pakistan but you have to take due security measures. Yes, since Pakistan are here after a long time, extra precaution is being taken. Having said that, security of all the teams is of equal importance,” said a security official on conditions of anonymity.
As part of the BCCI’s last minute schedule change, Hyderabad are forced to host back to back games on October 9 and 10, pushing more pressure on the stretched resources of police.
“Majority of our staff will get very little time to sleep today and tomorrow, same goes for back-to-back games in October,” added the official.