Pakistan cricket team faces delays in obtaining visas from India ahead of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023. The team bonding trip to Dubai has been canceled for the same reason.
Originally, the plan for the Pakistan cricket team was to depart for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next week, where they would spend a few days before heading to Hyderabad. This trip was in preparation for their inaugural warm-up match against New Zealand, scheduled for September 29.
However, due to ongoing visa delays, the team is now scheduled to depart from Lahore to Dubai early next Wednesday and subsequently proceed to Hyderabad for their preparations.
This situation has raised concerns within the Pakistan cricket team and has shed light on the complexities and challenges surrounding travel and diplomacy between Pakistan and India. Among the nine teams traveling to India for the World Cup, Pakistan is the sole team still awaiting visas, underscoring the strained political relations between these neighboring nations. Obtaining visas for travel between the two countries has historically been a challenging and often lengthy process.
Cross-border cricketing encounters have become increasingly infrequent. Since Pakistan’s visit to India for a white-ball series in 2012-13, there has not been a bilateral series where either team has traveled to the other’s country. The visit in 2012-13 was an exception amid a consistent decline in relations between the two nations, particularly since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. In the past decade, Pakistan has toured India only once, and that was for the T20 World Cup in March 2016.
It is noteworthy that only two players from Pakistan’s current squad have prior experience playing cricket in India. Mohammad Nawaz was part of Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad in 2016, while Agha Salman represented Lahore Lions in the Champions League T20. This scarcity of experience playing in Indian conditions adds an additional layer of challenge for the Pakistan cricket team as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup on foreign soil.