Pakistan's first warm-up match leading up to the ICC World Cup is set to be held in Hyderabad behind closed doors due to security concerns, as announced by India's cricket board (BCCI).
The Pakistan cricket team, led by Babar Azam, is scheduled to face 2019 World Cup runners-up New Zealand on Friday. However, fans will not be permitted inside the Hyderabad stadium for the match, in line with the guidance provided by local security authorities, as revealed in a statement issued by the BCCI on Monday.
The statement read, "The match in Hyderabad coincides with festivals on the day and large gatherings are expected around the city." Consequently, spectators who had purchased tickets for the game will receive a full refund.
Bilateral cricketing relations between India and Pakistan have remained suspended due to strained political ties between the two neighboring nations. Consequently, matches between the two teams only take place within the context of multi-team events.
Pakistan is gearing up for another warm-up fixture against Australia on October 3 before commencing their quest for a second 50-overs World Cup title against the Netherlands just three days later.
While the Pakistan squad received their visas on Monday after a brief delay, they are scheduled to depart for India via Dubai on Wednesday.