Pakistan cricket team receives government approval to travel to India for ODI WC | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team receives government approval to travel to India for 2023 ODI World Cup

Aug 06, 2023 08:02 PM IST

Pakistan's men's cricket team will travel to India for the 2023 ODI World Cup, the country's foreign ministry confirmed on Sunday.

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Sunday that the country's men's cricket team will travel to India for the 2023 ODI World Cup. In a statement, the foreign ministry stated that the “bilateral relations” with India will not hamper Pakistan cricket's international obligations.

Babar Azam's Pakistan team has received government approval to travel to India for ODI World Cup(Getty)
Babar Azam's Pakistan team has received government approval to travel to India for ODI World Cup(Getty)

“Pakistan has consistently maintained that sports should not be mixed with politics. It has, therefore, decided to send its Cricket Team to India to participate in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023,” a statement from the foreign ministry read.

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“Pakistan believes that the state of bilateral relations with India should not stand in the way of fulfilling its international sports-related obligations.”

Interestingly, the ODI World Cup succeeds the Asia Cup which, originally, was scheduled to be hosted by Pakistan. However, with BCCI's refusal to send the Indian team to the country, Sri Lanka were picked as co-hosts for the continental tournament with all of India's games scheduled in the island country. In its statement, the foreign ministry didn't fail to remind India of the act.

“Pakistan’s decision shows its constructive and responsible approach vis-à-vis India’s intransigent attitude, as the latter had refused to send its Cricket Team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup,” the statement read.

In the past few weeks, Pakistan officials had travelled to different venues where the side is scheduled to play in World Cup games to check security arrangements. This will be the first time when a Pakistan men's team will travel to India since the 2016 T20 World Cup. The last time Pakistan played a bilateral series on Indian soil was in December 2012-January 2013, which, incidentally, was also the last series between the two countries. Since then, the meetings between both nations have been confined to continental (Asia Cup) and global (World Cup, Champions Trophy) tournaments.

This year, though, the fans are in for a big dose of India-Pakistan games; both sides can potentially meet thrice in the Asia Cup, and are also grouped together in ‘Group A’ of the tournament. In the World Cup, both sides are scheduled to meet on October 15 in Ahmedabad; however, there might be a change of date for the clash due to security reasons.

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