• Saturday, June 15, 2024

CRICKET

Pakistan Cricket Board chief taunts India as ‘enemy country’ even as World Cup hosts welcome archrivals

Many Pakistani cricket fans slammed the PCB chief’s remarks, calling them irresponsible.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf (Photo by Arif Ali/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

DAYS after the Pakistan cricket team received a warm welcome in India where it has reached for the upcoming 50-over World Cup and appreciated the hospitality, the chairperson of the country’s cricket board referred to the host nation as a “dushman mulk” (enemy country).

In a video that went viral on social media, the top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official, Zaka Ashraf, was heard telling mediapersons about his country’s players going to “dusman mulk” for tournaments. He was speaking about the board’s recent contract with the cricketers.

“We gave these contracts to our players with love and affection. Never in the history of Pakistan, such an amount of money has been given to players. My aim was to keep the players’ morale high as they go to countries, the enemy country (‘Dushman Mulk’) for competitions,” the 71-year-old Ashraf was heard saying.

Earlier this week, the PCB confirmed in a press release negotiating successfully a three-year central contacts deal with its senior players that will run from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2026. Twenty-five cricketers will be offered a momentous deal that will include a portion of the International Cricket Council’s revenue, it added.

Ashraf’s remarks met ire on either side of the border with many in Pakistan also slamming the PCB chairman for his remark.

“Shame on PCB chairman on calling India “Dushman mulk* despite a warm welcome from them, zaka ashraf is the real dhusman of our team. Dear Indian don’t take him serious, he just a political tout that’s why he was made chairman. #PAKvNZ #PakistanCricketTeam,” said a Pakistani cricket fan Tehseenqasim in a post on X.

Another cricket fan in Pakistan described the statement from the PCB Chief as irresponsible and that India is not their enemy.

Pakistan were playing their first warm-up game against New Zealand in Hyderabad on Friday (29) and will take on Australia at the same venue on Tuesday (3).

They play their first match in the World Cup against the Netherlands in Hyderabad on October 6.

Here are some reactions that Ashraf’s remarks saw from Pakistani fans:

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