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PCB’s Zaka Asraf elated over Pakistan team’s ‘fantastic’ reception in India

PCB’s Zaka Asraf elated over Pakistan team’s ‘fantastic’ reception in India
  • PublishedSeptember 29, 2023

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Chairman PCB Management Committee Zaka Ashraf. — AFP/file
Chairman PCB Management Committee Zaka Ashraf. — AFP/file 

Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Management Committee Zaka Ashraf on Friday termed Pakistan’s cricket team reception in India ahead of World Cup 2023 as “fantastic”, saying that the cordial welcome by Indian fans reflects the love [Indian and Pakistani] people have for “each other’s players”.

Ashraf, was quoted in a PCB’s press release, saying: “Whenever India and Pakistan step onto the cricket field, they emerge as traditional rivals but not as enemies.”

Expressing hope that the Men in Green “would receive the same warmth” throughout the tournament Ashraf accentuated that the Green Shirts have “always received a warm and cordial welcome” just as the Indian cricket teams visiting Pakistan were welcomed.

“Cricket is a sport that has always played a bridging role between the two nations, and cricketers from both countries have remained popular in and well-loved by fans in both India and Pakistan,” the PCB chief said.

The chairman managing committee also stressed that the cricket between India and Pakistan is “more significant” and become the “centre of global attention” when compared to other contests in the sport.

Expressing his hope that the Men in Blue will visit Pakistan soon, Ashraf revealed his desire for the restoration of bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan which will give millions of cricket fans from both nations to watch the contest live.

It is pertinent to know that the Pakistan cricket team upon their arrival in India for the World Cup 2023 were greeted by ecstatic Indian fans at the airport earlier this week.

Excited crowds, held back by officers, cheered and shouted the team captain’s name Babar Azam, as the Pakistani contingent the Pakistani contingent — comprising 18 players and 13-player support personnel — arrived at the airport in the southern Indian city for the one-day international (ODI) tournament which opens on October 5.

Lauding the welcome by Indian fans, Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Afridi expressed his excitement about the welcome by posting a message on his social media stating: “Great welcome thus far!”

Meanwhile, wicketkeeper Muhammad Rizwan was “amazed” by the reception by the fans when they reached Hyderabad.

Pakistan’s schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:

October 6 — vs Netherlands in Hyderabad

October 10 — vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad

October 14 — vs India in Ahmedabad

October 20 — vs Australia in Bengaluru

October 23 — vs Afghanistan in Chennai

October 27 — vs South Africa in Chennai

October 31 — vs Bangladesh in Kolkata

November 4 — vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)

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