Pakistan’s top cricket players, including captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, are feeling thankful for the warm welcome they received in India.
The Pakistan cricket team arrived in Hyderabad with tight security measures ahead of the seven-week-long World Cup. This visit marks their first trip to India since 2016.
Excited fans gathered at the airport in Hyderabad, cheering for team captain Babar Azam as they arrived for the ODI tournament, set to start on October 5.
Babar Azam shared his feelings on Instagram, saying he’s “overwhelmed with the love and support here in Hyderabad.”
Star pacer Shaheen Afridi expressed his excitement on social media, stating, “Great welcome thus far!”
Mohammad Rizwan was “amazed” by the warm reception from the fans.
Despite longstanding political tensions, cricket remains a way for the two countries to compete, but usually on neutral ground.
The World Cup will feature 48 matches at 10 different venues over 46 days, with the final scheduled for November 19.
Pakistan’s warm-up matches against New Zealand (on September 29) and Australia (on October 3) will both be held in Hyderabad.
However, due to a Hindu festival with expected large crowds on Friday, the first warm-up match will be closed to the public, following advice from local security agencies, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Pakistan’s World Cup journey begins with a match against the Netherlands, followed by the highly anticipated clash against arch-rivals India in the over 130,000-seat Ahmedabad Stadium on October 14.
India will kick off their campaign against Australia on October 8, followed by the eagerly awaited game against Pakistan.
Visas for the Pakistan team to travel to India were reportedly issued just 48 hours before their scheduled departure. There’s been no response from India regarding visa arrangements for Pakistan fans.