Pakistan begin first India visit in seven years for ODI World Cup 2023

Babar Azam's team to play warm-up match in Hyderabad on Friday

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Pakistan's players undertook their most significant journey in years when they departed for the ODI World Cup in India.

There has been a lot of buzz around the Pakistan contingent ahead of the 50-over tournament that begins in Ahmedabad on October 5. Firstly, they delayed announcing their final squad until the eleventh hour, most likely to get the latest medical update on fast bowler Naseem Shah's injury.

After the list was eventually confirmed, they faced last-minute travel issues as their visas did not get processed in time for a pre-tournament camp in Dubai.

But on Tuesday night, all things fell into place as Pakistan began their travel to India, via the UAE. The travelling party will land in Hyderabad on Wednesday evening.

They play a warm-up match against New Zealand in the city on Friday, but the match will be held behind closed doors as the local government could not provide adequate security due to ongoing festivities.

It will be a significant moment for Pakistan players, most of whom are on their first ever tour to India. Also, it will be the first visit by a Pakistan cricket team to the country in seven years after the 2016 T20 World Cup.

"We have not played in India before, but we are not taking too much pressure,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said in Lahore.

“We have done our research. We have heard from our former players that the conditions are similar to what we get in other Asian countries, except for Chennai where the wickets suit the spinners more.”

Pakistan play another warm-up game against Australia on October 3 before they take on the Netherlands in their first World Cup match three days later in Hyderabad.

Updated: October 04, 2023, 9:06 AM