HYDERABAD: Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam was “overwhelmed” by the grand welcome he and his team received upon their arrival in India to partake in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023.
Pakistan’s World Cup-bound squad landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday evening and was later commuted to the team hotel with tight security in place.
The visit marked the Pakistan team’s first since 2016 and the crowd turned up in large numbers to welcome them.
Despite being held back by the security personnel, cricket fans cheered and chanted the name of Pakistan team captain Babar Azam, who waved back at him to show his gratitude.
In response, Babar Azam posted an Instagram story to acknowledge the warm welcome.
“Overwhelmed with the love and support in Hyderabad,” wrote Babar.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ace pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi also offered his gratitude for the hospitality through his Instagram story, which stated, “Great welcome thus far!”
Rizwan was equally astounded by the supporters’ jubilant welcome when they arrived here for the ICC World Cup 2023.
“Amazing reception from the people here. Everything was super smooth. Looking forward to the next 1.5 months,” Rizwan wrote on X.
Amazing reception from the people here. Everything was super smooth. Looking forward to the next 1.5 months 😇
— Muhammad Rizwan (@iMRizwanPak) September 27, 2023
Babar-led Pakistan will start their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad, the same venue at which they will play their warm-up fixtures against New Zealand and Australia.
Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023
Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.
Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan
Pakistan’s warm-up matches schedule:
- September 29 — vs New Zealand in Hyderabad
- October 3 — vs Australia in Hyderabad
Pakistan’s schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:
- October 6 – vs Netherlands in Hyderabad
- October 10 – vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad
- October 14 – vs India in Ahmedabad
- October 20 – vs Australia in Bengaluru
- October 23 – vs Afghanistan in Chennai
- October 27 – vs South Africa in Chennai
- October 31 – vs Bangladesh in Kolkata
- November 4 – vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)
- November 11 – vs England in Kolkata
The day matches will start at 10:00 am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures, starting at 01:30 pm (PST).