Pakistan cricket squad is on the brink of securing their Indian visas for the highly anticipated ICC World Cup 2023.
The team's journey to India seemed uncertain due to some visa-related hurdles, but there's now a glimmer of hope.
The Indian Embassy in Pakistan is poised to receive the all-important No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Indian Interior Ministry today.
Once this hurdle is cleared, the visas will be swiftly issued to the eager Pakistan cricket team.
With their bags packed and spirits high, the Pakistan squad is gearing up to depart for Hyderabad, India, with a stopover in Dubai scheduled for Wednesday morning.
The visa saga had cast a shadow of doubt over Pakistan's participation in the tournament.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had promptly alerted the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the visa issue, as there was a prior agreement in place ensuring timely visa issuance.
This visa delay even led to the unfortunate cancellation of Pakistan's pre-World Cup team-bonding trip to Dubai.
The team had originally planned to jet off to the UAE early this week for a brief stay before heading to Hyderabad.
The ICC World Cup 2023 is set to unfold in India, featuring ten teams vying for the prestigious title at ten different venues from October 5 to November 19.
The action will kick off at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, where the opening match and the final showdown will take place.
As fans eagerly await the cricketing extravaganza, Pakistan's squad, led by captain Babar Azam, is ready to make their mark on the world stage. Here's a quick look at the squad that will don the green jersey:
Captain: Babar Azam
Team Members: 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
Excitement is building, and warm-up matches are on the horizon.
Pakistan's warm-up schedule includes clashes with New Zealand on September 29 and Australia on October 3, both taking place in Hyderabad.
As for the main event, Pakistan's schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023 is as follows:
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 in Bengaluru (Day match)
November 11: vs England in Kolkata
The day matches will commence at 10:00 AM Pakistan Standard Time (PST), while all other matches will be thrilling day-night fixtures starting at 01:30 PM PST.
Should Pakistan make it to the semi-finals, they will find themselves in the cricketing cauldron of Kolkata.
And if India also secures a semi-final spot, they'll play in Mumbai unless they face Pakistan, in which case, the clash of titans will unfold in the vibrant city of Kolkata.
With their visas nearly in hand, the Pakistan cricket squad is ready to bring their A-game to the ICC World Cup 2023, promising cricket fans an unforgettable tournament filled with passion and fierce competition.