In Islamabad, Pakistan, a call has been made for the Indian government to ensure comprehensive security for the cricket team participating in the ICC World Cup 2023, given concerns of potential terrorist threats. The request was voiced during a weekly press briefing held at the Foreign Office in the capital city. Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch responded to questions regarding visa delays affecting Pakistani fans and journalists and concerning reports of security threats.
Despite applying well in advance of the mega tournament, Indian authorities have not issued visas to media personnel. Baloch emphasized that, as the host country, India bears the responsibility of safeguarding the visiting cricket teams during the ICC World Cup 2023, underscoring the need to create a conducive environment for the event. She expressed hope that Indian authorities would promptly process the pending visa applications.
Baloch also cautioned against intertwining politics with sports, emphasizing that India, as the host, should not obstruct Pakistani fans from attending the World Cup matches. Meanwhile, heightened security measures have been implemented in Ahmedabad, particularly around the Narendra Modi stadium, in response to a perceived terror threat.
With over 3,000 police personnel stationed in and around the venue, which is set to host five fixtures, including the opening match, the Pakistan-India encounter, and the final, security precautions are robust. Spectators will be restricted from carrying items other than mobile phones into the stadium, and road access to the venue will be limited during matches to mitigate security risks.
The ICC World Cup 2023 will commence with a match between England and New Zealand at the same stadium. This tournament, featuring 10 teams, will unfold across 10 venues in India from October 5 to November 19, following a round-robin format with all teams competing in 45 league matches.