Pakistan cricket team arrives in Hyderabad

Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq
Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq on arrival at the Hyderabad airport. Phot: IANS

Hyderabad: The Pakistan cricket team landed in Hyderabad on Wednesday night amid tight security to take part in the ICC World Cup starting October 5 (next Thursday).

The team led by skipper Babar Azam flew into the city via Dubai for the first tour to India in seven years.

After landing at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, the players and support staff boarded the special bus and checked into a star hotel in the city.

Babar Azam and some other players were seen waving at a few supporters and mediapersons. A few security personnel also took pictures with the players on their mobile phones. Star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was seen chatting with a police officer.

Pakistan cricket's biggest fan, Chaudhry Abdul Jalil, popular as 'Chacha', was present at the airport to welcome the team.

This is the first time in seven years that the Pakistan cricket team is visiting India. The team had last played in India in 2016, in the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan will play two warm-up matches here, while their first two World Cup fixtures are also scheduled in Hyderabad.

Pakistan will take on New Zealand in the first warm-up match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on September 29.

It is not clear if the Pakistani team will have a practice session at the stadium on Thursday as a mammoth Ganesh immersion procession is scheduled on the same day.

In view of the Ganesh immersion and also the Milad-un-Nabi procession in the city, the city police have requested the organisers not to allow spectators in the stadium for the first warm-up match scheduled on  Friday.

Pakistan’s second warm-up match will be against Australia on October 3.

The visitors will open their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on October 6, before playing Sri Lanka on October 10. The team will then travel to Ahmedabad for the big match against India scheduled on October 14.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.