The Pakistan cricketers may have been given a warm reception upon their arrival in India for the ICC ODI World Cup but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has 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.
Pakistan are scheduled to play their first warm-up match against New Zealand in Hyderabad today.
They will open their world cup campaign against Netherlands in Hyderabad on October 6.
The Pakistan cricket team, led by captain Babar Azam, arrived in the country on Wednesday and were floored by the reception at the airport. This is the first time in seven years that the team has stepped foot on Indian soil.
A majority of the Pakistan squad is in India for the first time barring Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Agha.
Few Pakistan cricketers took to social media to express their happiness after seeing the response from Indian fans.
“We did expect people to turn up at the ground but a proper welcome at the airport from fans, we did not see that coming. They had lined up for the team. It was wonderful to witness that, even the players got emotional about it,” news agency PTI quoted a Pakistan team source as saying.