PM tells PCB not to plead with any country to play in Pakistan 05 Jul, 2017
ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday asked Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahzryar Khan to not plead with any foreign team to visit the country."There is no need to plead with any country to visit Pakistan, those who want to play in Pakistan will visit themselves," said the premier while addressing guests at an event hosted to honour the Pakistan cricket team.Prime Minister Sharif hosted grand reception in honour of Champions Trophy winning Pakistan cricket team. The PCB officials, PCB Board of Governors members, players’ families, former Test cricketers and others were also present during the two-hour long function.The prime minister paid tribute to the players and honoured them for their performance during the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy.Addressing the players PM Sharif said they were the real heroes of the country and true ambassadors. He said he had always wished to meet with these proud sons of the soil, who won laurels for country. “When PCB Chairman Sharyar Khan told me about appointing Sarfraz Ahmed as Pakistan ODI team captain, he was full of praise of the captain fantastic and after Champions Trophy victory I wanted to shake hands with Sarfraz and now my wish has come true.”Nawaz also shared anecdotes from his youth and said he was an ardent cricketer too. He said he never feels pain in his life not even Panama case was bothering him but he has never forgot the pain and grief of being stopped of playing cricket at Railway ground.“I never liked bouncers from the childhood days and I feel irritated whenever have to face a bouncer. I don’t remember how many sixes and fours I had hit during my playing days but I used to play very good cricket. Such was the passion for cricket that I can’t sleep whole night.”He said he was only the PM by portfolio but cricketers and those who won laurels for country are real prime ministers.The premier said that it was his desire to meet the national heroes, recalling his youthful days, Nawaz said that there was no cricket ground in his locality, where he grew up and after he became the Chief Minister of Punjab, he allocated funds for sports grounds.“When Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came to power in 2013, it was in a situation same as that the green shirts were after their first match in Champions Trophy 2017. However, Pakistan today is progressing rapidly and challenges are being overcome. Several energy projects are underway and a network of motorway is being laid across the country,” PM Sharif said.The prime minister also handed over souvenirs to each of the squad member and executives of the PCB including Najam Sethi.Earlier, the victorious Pakistan cricket team reached the PM House on Tuesday, all-rounder Shoaib Malik thanked the PM for inviting the team.Sharing his views opener Azhar Ali said as a team they enjoyed the tournament. He added that the captain boosted the team’s morale after the initial defeat.State Minister for Water and Power Minister Abid Sher Ali, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal and State Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb greeted the team and officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board at the entrance. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and all senior cabinet members were present at the event, while an indoor cricket pitch along with wickets has also been set up inside.PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan while sharing his views said that the success in the Champions Trophy was a result of teamwork. “We will have to focus on the domestic cricket to maintain sequence of successes,” he maintained.Following 16 players received Rs 10 million each: Sarfraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Muhammad Hafeez, Shahdab Khan, Imad Wasim, Muhammad Aamir, Junaid Khan, Hassan Ali, Ahmed Shahzad, Haris Sohail, Ruman Raees, Faheem Ashraf and Wahab Riaz. Rs five million each were given to chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, Azhar Mehmood, Micky Arthur, fitness and fielding coach Grant Luden, batting coach Grant Flower and fielding coach Stephen John Rixson Rs 5 million. Physiotherapist Andrew Hayes, masseur Donlad Dave, manager Talat Ali Rs, media manager Raza Khichlew, Social Media manager Aoun Muhammad Zaidi, in charge tours operations Shahid Aslam, video analyst Talha Ijaz, security manager Azhar Arif received Rs 2.5 million each.PCB’s Director Media Amjed Hussain, GM International Usman Wahla Rs, selector Tauseef Ahmed, selector Wajahat Ullah Wasti and selector Wasim Haider were awarded Rs 1 million each. All the players and four senior members including Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi were conferred with Pride of Performance and awarded Rs 1 million each.Earlier, around Rs 10 million were spent on players, officials accommodation and other expenditures at Serena Hotel while as per expectations sports journalists were ignored while irrelevant persons were invited by the PM House to cover the event. The sports journalists of twin cities have requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take notice of the injustice being done to the community and ensure next time whenever PM holds a sports-related function, sports journalists given their due right of covering the event.

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