While the Babar Azam-led World Cup bound Pakistan contingent were scheduled to leave for Dubai for a camp ahead of the marquee event set to commence on October 5 in India, it is now being reported that the Men in Green have been forced to cancel their trip to the Middle East owing to visa delays with the team still awaiting their visals as on Friday (September 22).
Notably, the squad was to fly to the UAE next week and stay there for two days before departing for Hyderabad which is the venue for their first warm-up fixture against New Zealand on Septeber 29 ahead of the World Cup beginning on October 5. Pakistan are now mulling to fly to Dubai from Lahore on Wedesday (September 27) before flying to Hyderabad from there. The details have come to the fore in a report carried by ESPNCricinfo, also corroborated by news agency ANI.
As per the same report while an officail has claimed that the situation is not alarming as visal are likely to arrive in time for Pakistan to travel. The media report says that Pakistan had actually made an application for visas over a week ago but have not yet received the same which makes them the only one of the nine teams travelling to Pakistan still awaiting visas, another incident which underlines the tensed political climate at the backdrop of which the team is coming to India.
Following Pakistan’s World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand, they will lock horns with Australia on October 3 also in Hyderabad. They begin their World Cup campaign with a match against Netherlands in the same city at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on October 6 before taking on Sri Lanka at the same venue on October 10. It is then that Pakistan will shift bases for the first time with their clash against India scheduled at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14. Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata are the other Indian cities that will host Pakistan matches.