LAHORE: The Pakistan cricket squad has departed for India to participate in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in the wee Wednesday.
The team, led by Babar Azam, left for India’s city Hyderabad from the Lahore airport on a private international airlines flight EK 623 via Dubai. The travelling troop comprises 18 players and 13 officials.
The team is scheduled to stay in Dubai for nine hours and then depart for India. It will likely reach Hyderabad in India around 8pm local time.
The Pakistan team will play their first warm-up match of the ICC World Cup against New Zealand on September 29. The second warm-up match is scheduled for October 3 against Australia in Hyderabad.
Pakistan will play with their inaugural match for the World Cup completion against the Netherlands on October 6.
They are set to clash with archrivals and host India in a much-awaited match on October 14 in Ahmedabad.
Bowling coach Morne Morkel will join the national squad in Dubai, while the director, Mickey Arthur, will reach India directly.
The Pakistani and Afghan cricket teams were finally granted visas for the World Cup 2023 in India on Monday after a considerable delay and uncertainty.
After days of uncertainty and concerns raised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the delay in visa issuance, both teams can now gear up for the mega cricket event just days before it commences.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan’s first warm-up match leading up to the ICC World Cup is set to be held behind closed doors due to security concerns, as announced by India’s cricket board (BCCI).
The Pakistan cricket team is scheduled to face 2019 World Cup runners-up New Zealand on Friday. However, fans will not be permitted inside the Hyderabad stadium for the match, in line with the guidance provided by local security authorities, as revealed in a statement issued by the BCCI on Monday.
The statement read, “The match in Hyderabad coincides with festivals on the day and large gatherings are expected around the city.” Consequently, spectators who had purchased tickets for the game will receive a full refund.