Pakistan captain Babar Azam shared a special message as his team departed for India ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Azam requested the nation for support and prayers.
“As we head for the World Cup, we seek prayers of all the Pakistan cricket team fans and well-wishers. I am certain that you will continue to extend your support and love, which you have always done. Pakistan Zindabad,” Babar wrote on his official X handle.
Pakistan team left for India on Wednesday to participate in the hugely-awaited ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
The national team left at 3.20am from Lahore airport and will make a brief stopover in Dubai before taking a flight to Indian Hyderabad.
The team is scheduled to land in Hyderabad at 8:15pm (local time) on September 27 (today).
Pakistan’s travel contingent consists of 18 players and 13-player support personnel.
Bowling coach Morne Morkel and men’s cricket team director Mickey Arthur will join the team in Dubai and India, respectively.
The team will take part in the training session the next day and is scheduled to play their first warm-up match against New Zealand on September 29.
On Monday, after a long delay, India finally issued visas to the Pakistan team ending uncertainty surrounding Pakistan's participation in the tournament.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) complaining about a visa delay which, it said, had disrupted the team's preparation for the mega event across the border.
Pakistan will play two warm-up matches before beginning their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on Oct 6.
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are set to clash in a mouth-watering October 14 contest in Ahmedabad.
Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023
Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.
Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan.
Schedule of Pakistan's warm-up matches:
September 29 — vs New Zealand in Hyderabad
October 3 — vs Australia in Hyderabad
Pakistan's schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:
October 6 — vs Netherlands in Hyderabad
October 10 — vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad
October 14 — 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 11 — vs England in Kolkata
The day matches which will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).
If Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata.
If India qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.