Babar Azam and Virat Kohli: India-Pakistan cricket match is considered as by far the biggest sporting event in the cricketing world.
A government committee, led by Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, had been set up to decide whether the team could play in the 50-over tournament, which starts Oct.5.
"Pakistan has consistently maintained that sports should not be mixed with politics,” Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement. "It has, therefore, decided to send its cricket team to India to participate in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.”
The statement also mentioned strained political relations between the two countries but said it "believes that the state of bilateral relations with India should not stand in the way of fulfilling its international sports-related obligations.”
“Pakistan’s decision shows its constructive and responsible approach vis-a-vis India’s intransigent attitude, as the latter had refused to send its cricket team to Pakistan for the Asia Cup," the statement read.
"Pakistan, however, has deep concerns about the security of its cricket team. We are conveying these concerns to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Indian authorities," it added.
Pakistan further hopes that India will ensure full-proof security for the Pakistan cricket team during its visit to India, it said.
Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf had maintained that the cricket team will only be allowed to travel to India after getting the necessary approval from the government.
The PCB had also maintained that it will send a security team to India first, which will ensure safety arrangements for the team.
PCB’s recommendations were discussed in detail during a meeting of the special committee formed by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup in India.
The decision to send the team to India for the World Cup is most certainly wonderful news for cricket fans, who would start gearing up for an India-Pakistan showdown on Oct.15 in Ahmedabad.
India-Pakistan cricket match is considered as by far the biggest sporting event in the cricketing world. And when that is going to be happening on India’s home ground, the excitement and intensity around it would certainly multiply among the fans on either side of the border.
Pakistan are scheduled to play a minimum of nine matches in the World Cup in India scheduled in different stadia across the neighbouring country.
AFP / IANS
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