Zaka Ashraf, who chairs the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Management Committee, has changed his tune regarding India, which he initially referred to as an “enemy country.” This statement came as the Pakistan cricket team landed in Hyderabad, India, for the ICC World Cup 2023.
At first, Ashraf’s comment caused quite a stir when he said, “The morale of the players should be up when they go to an enemy country or where the competition is being held. They should go with full support of the nation so that they can perform well.”
This choice of words didn’t sit well with Indian cricket fans, and it understandably upset them, leading to a wave of outrage.
However, in a recent statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday, Zaka Ashraf altered his stance. He highlighted the warm reception the Pakistan men’s cricket team received in India, particularly at the Hyderabad airport. Ashraf pointed out that this warm welcome showcased the mutual affection that exists between the people of both countries for each other’s players.
Ashraf clarified that, while India and Pakistan are traditional rivals on the cricket field, they are not considered enemies. He expressed hope that the camaraderie and warmth witnessed during the team’s arrival in India would continue throughout the entire World Cup. This change in tone aims to promote a more positive and harmonious atmosphere during the tournament.
Pakistan’s top cricket players, including captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, are feeling thankful for the warm welcome they received in India.
The Pakistan cricket team arrived in Hyderabad with tight security measures ahead of the seven-week-long World Cup. This visit marks their first trip to India since 2016.
Excited fans gathered at the airport in Hyderabad, cheering for team captain Babar Azam as they arrived for the ODI tournament, set to start on October 5.