The Pakistan cricket team, led by Babar Azam, wasted no time getting down to business upon their arrival yesterday. They engaged in a two-hour practice session at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Thursday, September 28, 2023.
Tight security measures were in place in and around the stadium as the Pakistan team entered around 9:00 am on Thursday morning. The day started with a warm-up session, followed by a fielding practice, and then they delved into intense ‘net practice’.
I warmly Welcome Pakistan Cricket Team on their arrival in my country after a long time period of 7 years, I will host a party for my friends specially for Shadab at my house 🤗 Love you all, always spread love and joy❣️💕#Hyderabad #PakistanCricketTeam #BabarAzam𓃵 #CWC23 pic.twitter.com/dLwQo17LOq
— Virat Kohli (@amiVkohli) September 27, 2023
The team also familiarized themselves with the venue and, more importantly, the pitch conditions. They appeared content with the facilities and playing conditions in preparation for the upcoming World Cup campaign.
Interestingly, the media was kept unaware of both Pakistan’s and New Zealand’s practice sessions in the morning. This was apparently due to security concerns, as the day coincided with the Ganesh Visarjan festival in the city.
The practice sessions were scheduled early in the morning to avoid any disruption caused by the Lord Ganesh idol procession later in the day, according to a senior HCA official.
For the record, Pakistan is scheduled to play two warm-up matches, one against New Zealand on September 29 and another against Australia on October 3.
The Hyderabad Cricket Association officials, under the close supervision of K. Durga Prasad, who is assisting Supreme Court Judge Justice (Retd) L. Nageshwara Rao in resolving the HCA’s issues, have done a commendable job in ensuring that everything is in order for the participating teams.
The renovated Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, with its impeccably maintained lush green outfield, is a testament to the hard work of the groundstaff, led by Y.L. Chandrasekhar and supported by Mukesh Kumar and others.
Pakistan’s first World Cup match is scheduled for October 6 against The Netherlands, followed by a second match against Sri Lanka on October 10, before they head to Ahmedabad to face arch-rivals India on October 14. The Pakistan team members were clearly pleased with the seamless arrival process at Rajiv Gandhi Airport on Wednesday night and their journey to the hotel, thanks to the expected security arrangements.