‘Love Was Evident’: PCB Chairman Lauds Pakistan’s Reception in India For ODI WC After Controversial ‘Dushman Mulk’ Statement

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf. (AFP Image)

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf. (AFP Image)

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has now stated that the two teams will emerge on the field as traditional rivals and not enemies

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf has lauded India for the fantastic reception of the Pakistan cricket team in the country as it arrived in Hyderabad for the ODI World Cup 2023. The Pakistan team has travelled to India for the first time after the 2016 T20 World Cup.

PCB Chairman Ashraf came under the scanners after a video of him referring India to an enemy nation went viral. He faced backlash for his statement and now released another statement where he hailed the reception the players got at the airport.

“The fantastic reception of the Pakistan team in India for the World Cup proves how much love the people of both countries have for each other’s players. This love was evident by the reception arranged at the Hyderabad airport. I congratulate the Indians for arranging a reception of this kind,” Ashraf said in a statement released by PCB.

Ashraf further stated that the two teams will emerge on the field as traditional rivals and not enemies

“Whenever India and Pakistan step onto the cricket field, they emerge as traditional rivals but not as enemies. I hope that throughout the entire World Cup, Pakistan cricketers will receive the same warmth, and Indian fans will get to see the best cricket from Pakistan,” he added.

Earlier, Ashraf created unnecessary controversy with his unfortunate remark.

While addressing reporters, Zaka seemingly termed India as ‘dushman mulk’ (enemy nation).

“We have expressed our love towards the players with the new contracts. No one in history has allocated as much money in Pakistan history as much I have. Mera maksad ye hi hai ki hamaare jitne players hain unka morale up hona chahiye, jab ye kisi dushman mulk me khelne jaaye, ya kahi bhi jaaye jaha competition ho raha hai. (I aim is to ensure that the morale of our players his high when they travel to an enemy nation or anywhere in the world, to take part in the competition),” Ashraf said in a video which has gone viral on social media.

Meanwhile, overwhelmed by the gesture, some members of the squad shared their feelings on social media. Veteran batter Mohammad Rizwan penned a note on X, while skipper Babar and pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi expressed their delight on Instagram.

“Amazing reception from the people here. Everything was super smooth. Looking forward to the next 1.5 months,” Rizwan wrote on the microblogging platform.

Evidently elated with the reception, Babar Azam dropped a photo of himself in an Instagram story where he could be seen standing at the Hyderabad airport. “Overwhelmed with the love and support here in Hyderabad,” the world’s no. 1 ODI batter noted. Shaheen Afridi seemed also quite impressed as he wrote in an Instagram story, “Great welcome thus far.”

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