Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf on Friday termed Pakistan’s cricket team reception in India ahead of World Cup 2023 as “fantastic”, and said that the warm welcome by Indian fans reflects the love people (Indian and Pakistani) have for “each other’s players”.
Issuing a statement, Ashraf said: “Whenever India and Pakistan step onto the cricket field, they emerge as traditional rivals but not as enemies.”
He further hoped that the Pakistan team “would receive the same warmth” throughout the marquee event and accentuated that the Men In Green have “always received a warm and cordial welcome” just as the Indian cricket teams visiting his nation 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.
Ashraf meanwhile, also stressed that cricket between the two nations is “more significant” and becomes the “centre of global attention” when compared to other contests in the sport.
Expressing his hope that the Indian team will visit Pakistan soon, Ashraf revealed his desire for the restoration of bilateral cricket between the two nations which will give millions of cricket fans from both nations to watch the contest live.
Notably, the Pakistan were greeted warmly by Indian fans at the Hyderabad airport on their arrival. The Pakistani contingent, comprising 18 players and 13-player support personnel, had landed at the Hyderabad airport on Wednesday around 8 pm.
Expressing his excitement upon arrival, ace Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi posted about the welcome saying: “Great welcome thus far!”
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)