According to the announcement made by the hosts on Monday, Pakistan’s first warm-up encounter before to the ODI World Cup in arch-rival India would be played behind closed doors owing to concerns over security.
Due to the decades-long political tensions between the two countries, India and Pakistan are sworn enemies who only compete against one another in cricket during international competitions.
The match between Babar Azam’s squad and New Zealand will take place on Friday in the city of Hyderabad in south India, which is also the location of a Hindu festival that is likely to draw enormous spectators.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that fans would not be permitted inside the stadium, and that the match will “take place behind closed doors as per the advice of the local security agencies.”
The BCCI stated in a statement that the match “coincides with festivals on the day and large gatherings are expected around the city,” adding that ticket holders would be reimbursed.
The 50-over showcase competition will begin in Ahmedabad on October 5, while the highly awaited match between India and Pakistan will also take place in this city on October 14.
Pakistan had decided to pay a visit to India after the two countries reached an agreement to jointly host the Asia Cup, which had just come to a close. This arrangement allowed India to play its matches in Sri Lanka.
On October 3, Pakistan will commence their tournament against Australia at the same location where they played their first warm-up game. They will then remain there for their match against the Netherlands on October 6.
Because it was initially planned to take place at the beginning of a nine-day Hindu holy holiday, the blockbuster battle between India and Pakistan that was to take place in Ahmedabad in August had to be shifted back a day due to concerns over the safety of the event.
It will be Pakistan’s first trip outside of their own country since the Twenty20 World Cup in India in 2016.
According to reports in Indian and Pakistani media, visas for the Pakistani squad to go to India were approved on Monday, only forty-eight hours before they were scheduled to depart.