With the Warm-up games for the World Cup set to begin on September 29, Pakistan’s first warm-up game will be played behind closed doors for security reasons.
Fans barred for PAK-NZ Warmup games
Pakistan is set to play in the upcoming World Cup 2023 and will be starting its campaign in India by playing warmup matches against New Zealand and Australia. Pakistan’s first warm-up games will be played in Hyderabad and BCCI has informed that they will be played behind closed doors and fans will not allowed due to security reasons.
BCCI has revealed that the decision is as per the advice of the local security agencies. “The match in Hyderabad coincides with festivals on the day and large gatherings are expected around the city. “The spectators who bought tickets for the game will receive a full refund.”
Pakistan team had faced some issues with visa clearance for traveling to India to compete in the World Cup. With the Pakistan Cricket Board announcing their 15-member squad for the tournament on Friday, Babar Azam and his co are set to travel on a pre-World Cup bonding trip but the visa clearance has been approved.
Out of 10 teams participating in the World Cup, only the Pakistan team has not received their visas yet. With the plans canceled, the Pakistan team will be heading toward Karachi and will start to Hyderabad for their warm-up match. Pakistan team will be traveling to India for the first time since 2012-13.
Earlier on Monday, The Pakistan Cricket Board wrote to the ICC with concerns over the Pakistan team’s clearance to travel to India for the upcoming World Cup 2023.
The ICC after reviewing the issue confirmed the visa for the Pakistan team has been approved for the big tournament in the subcontinent. It is said that the visa came less than 48 hours before Pakistan’s schedule to travel to India via Dubai on September 27.
“Visas have been issued to Pakistan,” ICC told news agency PTI. “We have not got the call from Indian High Commission yet over visa clearance. A member of our team is stationed there,” said Umar Farooq.
Pakistan cricket team has been knocked out from the Asia Cup with their defeat in the Super Fours against Sri Lanka. On this occasion, a meeting was held on Thursday regarding the team’s underperformance in the Asia Cup with the likes of PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, Captain Babar Azam, head coach Grant Bradburn, Salman Nasser, Usman Wahla, and former skipper Misbah ul Haq.
Naseem Shah sustained an injury on his right shoulder during the game against India in the Super Fours of the Asia Cup where India won with a 228-run difference. The scans revealed he was injured worse than expected and will be ruled out of the marquee tournament in India.
Hassan Ali will be replacing Naseem Shah in the 15-member squad for the tournament. Hasan Ali has featured in 60 ODIs since his debut in 2017, dismissing 91 wickets at an average of 30.36. His last ODI appearance was in the home series against New Zealand in January 2023 in Karachi.
In the team led by Babar Azam, allrounder Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Haris and Zaman Khan have been excluded from the squad that played in the Asia Cup. Meanwhile, Shadab Khan has been retained as Babar Azam’s deputy for the tournament.
Pakistan will be playing its first match in the ODI World Cup 2023 against the Netherlands on October 6 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.