(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Tue 26 Sep 2023, 10:49 PM
Last updated: Tue 26 Sep 2023, 10:50 PM
Skipper Babar Azam said Tuesday he still expects huge support for the team at the World Cup in India, despite Pakistani fans being barred from travelling to the 50-over tournament.
Indian ministries have yet to approve visas for spectators hoping to attend the seven week mega-event starting October 5, according to Pakistan media reports.
"Unfortunately, we will be missing our fans," Azam told reporters in a pre-departure press conference in the eastern city of Lahore.
"However, as far as I know, all our games are all sold out and we will be playing in jam-packed stadiums so there will be support for us."
The Pakistan squad will depart early Wednesday and is slated to play two warm-up matches – against New Zealand on September 29 and Australia on October 3 – both in Hyderabad.
They open their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands, before facing arch-rivals India in the over 130,000-seat Ahmedabad Stadium on October 14.
"Everyone who travelled to India before told me that they got huge love in India, so we expect the same," he said.
"I don't think our fans will sit silent, they will back us from the social media and other platforms and pray for our win."
India's interior ministry did not respond to a request for comment on visa arrangements for Pakistan fans.
Due to longstanding political tensions, the adversaries only play cricket against each other in international tournaments.
Usually, the matches are staged in third countries.
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