Sat. Jun 15th, 2024


Babar Azam arrived with the Pakistan cricket team in India© AFP

The Pakistan cricket team arrived in India after seven years ahead of Cricket World Cup 2023 and the welcome was overwhelming in Hyderabad. People flocked to the airport in order to catch a glimpse of the Pakistan cricketers and several of them took to social media to share their feelings about the heartwarming welcome. India and Pakistan stopped playing bilateral series almost a decade ago and as a result, their matches in international or continental tournaments are a treat for cricket fans. Cricket fans were once again present as the cricketers started practice before their first Cricket World Cup warm-up game.

“We did expect people to turn up at the ground but a proper welcome at the airport from fans, we did not see that coming. They had lined up for the team. It was wonderful to witness that, even the players got emotional about it,” a team source told PTI.

Pakistan arrived less than 48 hours before their opening Cricket World Cup warm-up fixture against New Zealand on Friday and fully aware of the task at hand, as many as 10 players including two travelling reserves turned up at the ground for the optional training session.

After warming up in the field of play, Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed were the first batch of batters to hit the nets. Bowling to them were the fearsome pace duo of Shaheen Afridi and a fit-again Haris Rauf, who bowled for the first time since the game against India in Asia Cup on September 10.

The experienced Hasan Ali, making a comeback into the team following Naseem Shah‘s injury, also hit his stride under the supervision of bowling coach Morne Morkel. The pace trio was in good spirits and was seen joking with the net bowlers provided by the local association HCA.

(With PTI inputs)

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