World Cup 2023: The Pakistan cricket team has arrived in Hyderabad to participate in the ODI World Cup, overcoming visa-related hiccups. The squad, led by Babar Azam, received a warm and grand welcome in Hyderabad ahead of their warm-up game against New Zealand on September 29, albeit behind closed doors. Their World Cup tournament will begin on October 6 against the Netherlands at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Wow! What a fabulous welcome for Pakistan cricket team in India’s Hyderabad. Loved it! pic.twitter.com/cJ8dtbNeFv
— Wajahat Kazmi (@KazmiWajahat) September 27, 2023
Meanwhile, Pakistan cricket team’s visit to India marks Pakistan’s return after nearly a decade, their last visit being in 2012-13 for a bilateral series. The team has undergone significant changes since then, with many players set to experience Indian conditions for the first time, posing a considerable challenge.
Babar Azam gets a warm welcome in Hyderabad. pic.twitter.com/AZBCLPToH8
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) September 27, 2023
Expressing gratitude, Babar Azam said, “Overwhelmed with love and support here in Hyderabad.” Addressing concerns about playing in India, Babar stated in a press conference in Pakistan, “We are proud to travel for the World Cup. Although we haven’t played in India before, we’re not feeling too much pressure. We’ve done our research, and we’ve heard that the conditions are similar to other Asian countries. It’s an honour for me to travel as the captain this time, and I hope we come back with a trophy.”
In addition to the lack of experience in Indian conditions, Pakistan will also miss the presence of their home crowd during tournament matches. Babar noted, “Unfortunately, we won’t have our fans with us. However, the games are all sold out, so we’ll be playing in packed stadiums. While our fans won’t be physically present, their love will be felt on social media. I’ve heard that Indian fans also express their love, and I’m excited to play in India.”
World Cup 2023
A total of 10 teams will be vying for the coveted World Cup trophy in the 13th edition of the marquee event. India qualified by virtue of being hosts while New Zealand, England, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa progressed from the Super League. The biggest men’s event of the cricket calendar will span 48 matches across 10 venues, commencing on October 5 with defending Champions England taking on the runners-up of the previous edition New Zealand.