Pakistan players who are a part of the 15-member World Cup squad will no longer be travelling to Dubai to participate in a team bonding activity as the unit still awaits visas to travel to India. The Babar Azam-led side was due to travel to Dubai early next week and engage in a team bonding activity to kickstart its preparation for the marquee tournament in India but it seems that Pakistan will fly from Lahore to Dubai and then straight to Hyderabad for their first warm-up game.
The Green Brigade will take on New Zealand in their first warm-up game of the World Cup on Friday, September 29. The match will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad without any spectator attendance. The decision to organise the fixture behind closed doors was taken after the local police couldn't give enough assurance to provide ample security for the match.
Babar and Co will also play their second warm-up match at the same venue when they take on five-time world champions Australia on Tuesday, October 3.
Barring Mohammad Nawaz who was a part of the Pakistan team that travelled to India for the 2016 T20 World Cup, none of the other players who are a part of their 15-member World Cup squad have travelled to India before.
The 1992 World Cup champions will be participating in the 50-over marquee tournament without their emerging pace sensation Naseem Shah. Naseem missed out on World Cup selection with shoulder injury that he sustained on the reserve day of the Super Four fixture against India during the Asia Cup.
Pakistan's World Cup squad:
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali