Pakistan cricket team gets go-ahead to travel to India for ICC World Cup

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan celebrate their win against India in a World Cup match on October 24, 2021. — Reuters/File 
  • FO says Pakistan’s decision shows its constructive, responsible approach.
  • Pakistan to convey security concerns to ICC, Indian authorities. 
  • “Pakistan has consistently maintained that sports should not be mixed with politics,” says FO.

The Pakistan government has finally allowed the Men in Green to travel to India for the ICC World Cup 2023 — which is set to take place in October. 

“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,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Sunday. 

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

“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.”

However, the government expressed deep concerns about the security of its cricket team.

“We are conveying these concerns to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Indian authorities. We expect that full safety and security of the Pakistan Cricket Team will be ensured during its visit to India,” the FO added.

The development comes a few days after the committee formed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup in India considered sending a delegation to review security arrangements on Thursday.

The committee, headed by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, comprised Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of Inter-Provincial Coordination Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari, chiefs of the national security institutions, and foreign secretary.

Officials, who spoke to Geo News on the condition of anonymity, had said that most participants of the meeting agreed that Pakistan should go to India for participation in the World Cup. However, some suggestions did come of Pakistan skipping the event as India is also not visiting Pakistan.

However, the sources also said that there was consensus that a security guarantee will be taken from India before the team’s departure.

The sources also shared that Pakistan will reach out to India and the ICC for sending a security delegation. It added that if there is an agreement on sending a delegation then it will visit India in the last week of August.

Here is Pakistan’s schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:

October 6 — vs Netherlands in Hyderabad

October 12 — vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad

October 15 — vs India in Ahmedabad

October 20 — vs Australia in Bengaluru

October 23 — vs Afghanistan in Chennai

October 27 — vs South Africa in Chennai

October 31 — vs Bangladesh in Kolkata

November 4 — vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)

November 12 — vs England in Kolkata

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