The Pakistan Cricket Team has set foot on Indian soil after a seven-year hiatus, marking their return to the country ahead of the highly anticipated Cricket World Cup 2023. Led by Captain Babar Azam, the team’s arrival in India has generated tremendous excitement and expectations among cricket enthusiasts on both sides of the border.
Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.
Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan.
Pakistan Cricket Team Received a Warm Welcome in Hyderabad
After an early morning departure from Lahore, the squad embarked on a journey that eventually led them to India with a stopover in Dubai. Despite a long nine-hour layover, the team’s spirits remained high as they reached Hyderabad, where they are slated to spend a considerable portion of their time. The opening leg of their World Cup journey will see Pakistan competing in warm-up matches against New Zealand on September 29 and Australia on October 3. The real tournament action kicks off with a clash against Netherlands, followed by a battle with Sri Lanka on October 10. The Pakistan squad, led by their dynamic captain, Babar Azam, is all set to write a new chapter in their cricketing journey on Indian soil as they compete in the Cricket World Cup 2023, bringing the spirit of cricket diplomacy back to the forefront.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 27, 2023
Visa Hurdles Before World Cup 2023
The Pakistan Cricket Team’s visit to India was not without its share of challenges. With Indian visas secured less than 48 hours before their scheduled departure, the players faced uncertainty before their historic journey. This visit also marks a first for many team members, as only Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Ali Agha have previously visited India for cricket. Notably, Babar Azam missed the T20 World Cup in India in 2016 due to injury.
However, the head of the PCB management committee, Zaka Ashraf, expressed confidence in the arrangements, stating that the BCCI had assured the ICC of providing top-notch security and hospitality to all participating teams. He remained optimistic about the team’s stay in India. For Captain Babar Azam, the excitement is palpable as he anticipates playing in India, especially in front of a jam-packed crowd in Ahmedabad. Babar emphasized the team’s preparations and adaptability to conditions, aiming to contribute to the team’s success in the tournament.