The Pakistan national cricket team’s eagerly anticipated pre-World Cup bonding excursion to Dubai has hit an unexpected snag. Their plans to gather in the UAE ahead of the tournament and play a warm-up game against New Zealand in Hyderabad have been disrupted due to visa delays for their Indian journey.

Initially, the team had mapped out a route that involved flying to the UAE for a short stay before making their way to Hyderabad for their first practice match. However, the frustrating visa setback has compelled Pakistan to revise their travel itinerary. Now, they are preparing to depart from Lahore to Dubai this coming Wednesday before eventually heading to Hyderabad.

This unforeseen hiccup has raised concerns among some officials, but there is still a glimmer of hope that the crucial visas will materialize in time for the players. The visa application process was set in motion over a week ago, but Pakistan finds itself in the unique position of being the sole World Cup-bound team to India yet to secure their visas.

The visa hurdle between these neighboring nations is no novel issue; it has persisted due to the intricate web of political dynamics. Cricketing engagements between Pakistan and India have become increasingly infrequent, with the last bilateral ODI series dating back to 2012-13 when Pakistan toured India.

Despite these challenges, Pakistan’s determination remains undeterred. In August, the government granted clearance for their travel to India, and they are fully committed to participating in the World Cup. Their first warm-up game against New Zealand, scheduled for the upcoming Friday in Hyderabad, will be held behind closed doors due to heightened security concerns.

As the clock ticks down to the tournament’s commencement, Pakistan’s cricketing journey is marked by perseverance, optimism, and the anticipation of a unique and closely-watched World Cup chapter.

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