ICC World Cup 2023: Babar Azam, Rizwan-Shaheen React as Pakistani Cricketers Receive Warm Welcome in India

Published By: Amrit Santlani

Last Updated: September 28, 2023, 23:10 IST

Babar Azam-led Pakistan receive a stellar welcome in India. (Credits: PCB)

Babar Azam-led Pakistan receive a stellar welcome in India. (Credits: PCB)

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Afridi reacted after the Pakistan team received an incredible reception after arriving in Hyderabad for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023

Pakistan’s World Cup-bound cricketers touched down at the Hyderabad airport on September 27 as they are all set to feature in the showpiece event. This is the first time since 2016 that the Pakistan cricket team has paid a visit to India for a cricketing assignment. Upon their arrival, the players received a grand welcome from a huge number of fans at the airport premises. There were people who were heard chanting the name of Pakistan captain Babar Azam.

Overwhelmed by the gesture, some members of the squad shared their feelings on social media. Veteran batter Mohammad Rizwan penned a note on X, while skipper Babar and pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi expressed their delight on Instagram.

“Amazing reception from the people here. Everything was super smooth. Looking forward to the next 1.5 months,” Rizwan wrote on the microblogging platform.

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Evidently elated with the reception, Babar Azam dropped a photo of himself in an Instagram story where he could be seen standing at the Hyderabad airport. “Overwhelmed with the love and support here in Hyderabad,” the world’s no. 1 ODI batter noted. Shaheen Afridi seemed also quite impressed as he wrote in an Instagram story, “Great welcome thus far.”

From Pakistan’s ODI World Cup squad, only Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Ali have visited India owing to their participation in the 2016 T20 World Cup. Babar Azam was also slated to be part of the tour but was ruled out after suffering an injury just ahead of the tournament. The last time India and Pakistan squared off for a bilateral series on Indian soil was in the year 2012-13. Since then, both neighbouring countries have faced off only in global and continental tournaments due to the tense political relations between them.

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Pakistan are going into the ODI World Cup on the back of a disappointing performance in the Asia Cup. Babar Azam and Co cleared the group stage as a group topper but failed to continue the rhythm in the latter half of the event. Pakistan could make a positive start to the Super 4 round with a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh. But they lost the following matches to India and Sri Lanka respectively and failed to reach the final. Pakistan are slated to play their World Cup opener against the Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad.

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