Babar Azam: We felt very good with the kind of hospitality and welcome we had from the airport to the hotel
Pakistan Skipper Babar Azam has expressed that he has been surprised by the reception given to his team in India while Babar acknowledged having changed his mind after the team arrived in Hyderabad, where they had already played two warm-up games and will soon play their first couple of games of the competition.
Pakistan Skipper Babar Azam has expressed that he has been surprised by the reception given to his team in India. Babar acknowledged having changed his mind after the team arrived in Hyderabad, where they had already played two warm-up games and would soon play their first couple of games of the competition.
“To be honest, we also heard that,”he started when asked if the reception would be intimidating.
“But since the time we arrived in Hyderabad, the kind of hospitality we’ve received and the kind of welcome we had from the airport to the hotel…even in the last match at the ground we felt very good,”he said.
There was a lot of worry about visas after Pakistan entered India, but some of these issues have already been sorted, and some journalists are also scheduled to arrive. Despite it being uncertain whether fans might enter from the other side of the border, Babar wished for it nevertheless.
“It’ll be even better if we have our fans come as well. And hopefully, we get that kind of support in every match and at every ground, so looking forward to it,”he said.
Even before Pakistan and India’s match in Ahmedabad, which is expected to draw a record audience to the tournament, the captain of India sounded upbeat in his message to the other captains at the media event held on the tournament eve.
“Every leader sitting here wants to achieve something really special for their country and there is something which is highly prized. The 50-over World Cup is always something that I’ve dreamt of growing up as a child and I’m sure it’s the same for all the guys sitting here as well. One thing I can assure you and everyone will know about it, is that people are going to love the tournament here. The stadiums are going to be jam-packed, people here love their cricket. They love their team, but they love their cricket as well but rest assured it’s going to be a very good tournament,”said Rohit Sharma.
The importance of the ODI World Cup and the format has been questioned frequently, but both Rohit and New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson were adamant in their opinions about the mega event.
“I think every four years even with the introduction of T20 World Cups; they’re still major events, the World Test championship as well. But I still think the ODI World Cup, and probably everyone else here shares the same opinion that it’s definitely one of the top events that we can play in the world,”opined Williamson while Rohit threw his weight behind the Indian public’s expectations.
“Everyone’s quite excited. Even before we got into these warm-up games, like a month back every time we were traveling around India, the talks were all about the World Cup. And it is not unusual in India; it’s quite common that for any big event that happens here, people get excited. And cricket being the biggest sport in India, I’m not surprised by the excitement that people have. It is not just in one or two cities but it is spread across the entire country. Anywhere we go, the talk is about the World Cup. People are excited and obviously, it’s happening after 12 years in India, so all the more reason to be excited,” said Rohit.
Virat Kohli will shortly rejoin the Indian team, who is now stationed in Thiruvananthapuram. He would take off from Mumbai later in the night and will then travel to Chennai with the entire team on Wednesday.
According to sources within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Kohli requested permission from the board and team management to attend to a personal matter in Mumbai. An official for the Indian team announced on Tuesday evening,
“He will be joining us later in the evening and will be traveling with the team to Chennai tomorrow.”
Kohli would not have played in the second warm-up game against the Netherlands at Thiruvananthapuram’s Greenfield International Stadium had it taken place. However, bad weather forced the game to be called off.
As reported by Cricbuzz, Kohli left the squad and took a flight to Mumbai from Guwahati, where India was supposed to play England in their first warm-up game. Unfortunately, the rain forced the cancellation of that game.
The high-octane clash of the mega event will be played between Pakistan and India on October 14 in Ahmedabad while the fans are eagerly waiting for the clash.
India squad for World Cup: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav.Pakistan squad for World Cup: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.