- Pakistan will travel to India for the first time since 2016 for any mega event.
- Pakistan will play a warm-up game against New Zealand in Hyderabad, India.
- Only two Pakistani players traveled to India in the current squad.
Crossing the border for cricket matches between Pakistan and India has become extremely rare. Since Pakistan’s tour of India for a white-ball series in 2012-13, neither team has visited the other’s country for bilateral matches.
This visit itself was an exception, as relations between the two nations had deteriorated significantly since the Mumbai attacks in November 2008. In the last decade, Pakistan has only toured India once, and that was for the T20 World Cup in March 2016.
The participation of Pakistan in the upcoming ODI World Cup has been a topic of negotiation, with recent discussions involving the Asia Cup. While Pakistan was the official host of the Asia Cup, only a few matches were held in their country, and India’s team was not allowed to travel to Pakistan. Consequently, most of the tournament took place in Sri Lanka through a hybrid model proposed by the then PCB chief, Najam Sethi.
Earlier this year, during negotiations, the PCB suggested a similar hybrid model for the World Cup, where Pakistan would play their matches outside of India, possibly in Bangladesh. This proposal also raised questions about whether India would visit Pakistan for the Champions Trophy in February 2025. However, this idea was not taken seriously, and in August, the Pakistan government approved the team’s travel to India.
The tournament schedule was adjusted due to requests from police forces in multiple cities, primarily Ahmedabad and Kolkata, where match dates clashed with important religious festivals. As a result, nine matches were rescheduled.
Pakistan’s first warm-up match against New Zealand next Friday in Hyderabad will be played without spectators due to concerns about security. There are two significant religious festivals around the time of that game in the city.
In Pakistan’s current squad, only two players have previous experience of traveling to India for cricket: Mohammad Nawaz, who was part of Pakistan’s 2016 T20 World Cup squad, and Agha Salman, who was in the Lahore Lions’ squad for the Champions League T20.
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