World T20: Pakistan cricket team arrives in Kolkata

  • Agencies, Kolkata
  • Updated: Mar 12, 2016 21:14 IST
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi waves as he arrives in Kolkata. (ANI Photo)

The Pakistan cricket team arrived in India on Saturday evening amid tight security to take part in World Twenty20, ending days of uncertainty over their participation in the tournament.

The team travelled from Lahore to Abu Dhabi and rested there for some time before boarding an Etihad flight to arrive in Kolkata.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India earlier announced that the online process to register for the lottery system for the India-Pakistan match on March 19, started at 12pm on Saturday for a 48-hour window.

The lottery system process has to be done again as the match was relocated to the Eden Gardens in Kolkata from the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala due to security concerns. “The registered fans will be automatically enrolled into the random draw and then through an automated process, the winners will be chosen,” the BCCI said.

The squad including 15 players, 12 officials and support staff reached the Kolkata airport amid tight security a day after the Pakistan government gave the cricket board the green signal to fly to India to take part in the ICC event.

Head coach Waqar Younis, before departing for India, left a message on his Twitter account calling for unity in the team.

“Come on together we can do it,” he tweeted a message aimed at motivating the players.

He told the media that though the departure of the team for India had been hit by uncertainty and security issues, the focus of the players now would only be on cricket and doing well in the world event.

“We know that in India we will get a lot of hospitality because many of the players and officials have been to India before and they have seen this,” he said.

Waqar said that he had told the players to only focus on cricket and leave security issues to the boards and experts.

“We will take one match at a time and we are not thinking right now about the match against India on March 19. First we have to play Bangladesh and get past them. They are a very improved side now and have been hard to beat at home,” he said.

The Pakistan contingent includes manager Intikhab Alam, the experienced former Test captain and a high-profile security manager.

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