Pakistan to travel to India for 2023 World Cup despite 'deep concerns about security'

Country's foreign office urges ICC and Indian board to ensure player safety

Pakistan will play India in Ahmedabad during the 50-over World Cup. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Pakistan is to send its national team to India to participate in this year's 50-over World Cup, while expressing "deep concerns" over security of their players.

The announcement from Pakistan's foreign office came after months of uncertainty over the participation of Pakistan in the ODI World Cup in India. The impasse started with India refusing to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup over security reasons, following which Pakistan threatened to do the same for the World Cup.

A compromised was reached, with Pakistan retaining co-host status for this month's Asia Cup and their team in turn getting clearance to travel for the World Cup.

"Pakistan has deep concerns about the security of its cricket team. We are conveying these concerns to the International Cricket Council and the Indian authorities," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We expect that the full safety and security of the Pakistan cricket team will be ensured during its visit to India."

Pakistan are due to play their World Cup matches in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. Ahmedabad's 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium is scheduled to host the marquee match between Pakistan and India on October 15.

However, the date for that match is expected to be changed, along with that between Pakistan and England in Kolkata on November 12, due to local administration issues owing to festivals.

"Pakistan has consistently maintained that sports should not be mixed with politics," added the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement.

"It has, therefore, decided to send its cricket team to India to participate in the Cricket World Cup 2023. Pakistan believes that the state of bilateral relations with India should not stand in the way of fulfilling its international sports-related obligations."

Pakistan's Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was among the foreign ministers who travelled to India's Goa last month for a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting, becoming the first senior Pakistani leader to visit India in nine years.

The World Cup runs from October 5 to November 19 in India.

Updated: August 07, 2023, 7:33 AM