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Pakistan Army backs PCB for progressive portrayal of country through revival of cricket

Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Chief of Army Staff, has lavished praise on Pakistan Cricket Board and its chairman, Najam Sethi, for successfully organizing the recently concluded Pakistan Super League and the tour of West Indies team.

Pakistan Army

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Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Chief of Army Staff, has lavished praise on Pakistan Cricket Board and its chairman, Najam Sethi, for successfully organizing the recently concluded Pakistan Super League and the tour of West Indies team.

The military head forwarded a letter of appreciation to Najam Sethi, earlier this week, calling the revival of cricket bodes well for future of the sports as well as for allaying the distorted image of the country. Besides appreciating the fool-proof arrangements made by PCB, General Qamar Javed Bajwa also assured his full support to the country’s cricket board in the future for promoting the ‘image of peaceful and progressive Pakistan’.

The support from the state institution has instilled in PCB, a new vigor to strive hard for organizing more cricketing events in the country. Pakistan Army has been an active player in bringing international cricket back home. For the recent edition of Pakistan Super League, Pakistan’s military provided succor to the civilian government following which two semi-finals of PSL were arranged in the Qaddafi Stadium.

Pakistan was facing an unannounced boycott by international teams for visiting the country, after the Sri Lankan team came under attack in 2009.

The event hanged in limbo after a blast rocked the centre of a religious centre located in Raiwind, along the outskirts of Lahore. However, just a week after the suicide blast, the nation cheered and jeered as they caught the action of international stars, due to the security support provided by the Pakistan Army.

Read more: Pakistan firmly on road to cricket revival, says PCB

Not only did the Pak Army help PCB in terms of security-related affairs but also provided helicopters to help dry the outfield, ahead of the second semi-final in Lahore. In order to boost the morale of the nation, Pak Army also released a special video, extending good wishes to the organizers of Pakistan Super League (PSL).

After the successful conclusion of PSL 3, in which the Islamabad United emerged victorious, General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed that in fact – it was Pakistan who won. Moreover, Major Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations, had also lauded the efforts of the relevant authorities for the successful completion of the mega event.

What gives credence to the foolproof security arrangements is the fact that the final match of the third edition of PSL was conducted in Karachi, the port city of Pakistan, which has seen a spasm of violence in the recent past. The third edition of PSL was not the sole event wherein the armed forces lent support to the civilians; the practice was adopted in the second edition of the event as well.

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Just weeks before the final of PSL 2, a suicide bomber ripped through a large crowd of Pharmaceutical manufacturers and owners, leaving over 14 dead. The explosion had put the PSL final in a fix and even the political commentators and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman, Imran Khan, asked for canceling the event. However, the army chief expressed that the armed forces would support hosting of the cricketing event final in Punjab’s capital city, Lahore. Not only did the military issue a statement, but also lived up to its words as General Bajwa made a telephone call to Shehbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab and assured provision of ‘whatever was needed’ for the security.

The military head forwarded a letter of appreciation to Najam Sethi, earlier this week, calling the revival of cricket bodes well for future of the sports as well as for allaying the distorted image of the country.

Moreover, the Army chief also chaired a meeting of senior army officials, including heads of intelligence agencies, at the Corps Headquarters Lahore and sought steps for ensuring that the cricket match would be played as per schedule – which it finally did in Lahore. The joint arrangements by the Pak Army and police were also hailed by West Indian cricketer and Peshawar Zalmi player, Marlon Samuels, who thanked Pakistan’s army chief for ‘top-class’ security arrangements and expressed that he would continue to support the cause of bringing international cricket back to Pakistan.

Samuels went a mile more while expressing his love for Pakistan Army and wished to join it. The success of Pak Army’s efforts regarding the provision of security during the mega event can be gauged from the fact that Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar, requested Pakistan Army’s assistance for the upcoming Football World Cup in Qatar. The efforts of armed forces are well evident as the first edition of Pakistan Super League was played completely in Dubai.

Read more: 2017: The Year When Cricket Returned to Pakistan!

However, the final of second edition enthralled the audience in Lahore and the recent edition featured three matches in Pakistan, with the final staged in Karachi. Pakistan was facing an unannounced boycott by international teams for visiting the country, after the Sri Lankan team came under attack in 2009. However, the recent events restored the international community’s confidence in the security situation of the country, making room for more events in the future.

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