“We are very happy to be here and we are very happy with the
management. They have given us all facilities,” said Pakistan Team Manager
Ayesha Ashar to media persons after the practice session, a day after the team
arrived in Cuttack and housed in the Club House.
On the news that came in several media including a
few Pakistani media about refusal of star category hotels in Bhubaneswar
and Cuttack to accommodate the visiting cricket team members, the
Secretary said such a news is completely wrong. All major hotels were
ready to house the teams. But, as the decision of world cup matches to
be played in Barabati Stadium came in a short notice, some of the hotels
couldn’t offer with bookings for a complete fortnight. They already had
bookings for some days in between. Considering that shifting the teams
during their stay would be indecent, we went for hotels that offered us
continuous days for booking and we chose ‘Hotel Empires’.”
Behera also said, “Even though hotels were ready to
house all four teams with their facilities, it was decided to provide
accommodation to the Pakistan team in the stadium Club House because of
security reasons only.”
Arrived in Cuttack on January 28, Pakistan team
started its practice the very next day and has played two warm-up
matches with the Odisha women’s cricket team till January 30.
The New Zealand and Australian teams arrived on
January 30 in the morning. New Zealand team also started its practice in
the East Coast Railway Stadium in Bhubaneswar the same afternoon.
“With all promises from the Odisha government about the safety of
players and a good response from general public, OCA, BCCI and ICC are quite confident that the series of
matches would be held peacefully in Odisha. We are going to work upto
the trust of ICC and BCCI on us,” said OCA Secretary Ashirbad Behera.