Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sri Lankan authorities urged to send cricket teams to Pakistan

Karachi Observer Report

KARACHI: The Sri Lankan cricket authorities have been urged to resume sending teams to Pakistan.
The special request was made during the dinner-reception hosted in the honour of the visiting Pakistan Panthers Veterans cricket squad in Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, the other day.
Former Test captain and batting legend, Zaheer Abbas, who is also the Cricket Ambassador of the touring party, expressed the hope that the Sri Lankans will consider their request of sending their teams to Pakistan.
“The need of the hour is sending of teams to play in Pakistan. We desire Sri Lanka to play cricket in Pakistan. As neighbors and friends in cricket it’s our humble request to let other Sri Lankan cricket teams to play against Pakistan if there are reservations about sending the national team,” Zaheer Abbas remarked in his speech.
He acknowledged the Sri Lankan hospitality which made him feel the beautiful Island as his second home. He appreciated the Veterans series being arranged in the region. He conveyed his special thanks to Chandana Amaradasa and his team at Island Leisure for the excellent arrangements.
Fawad Ijaz Khan, captain of the squad and Chairman of the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), explained the importance of their role in cricket.
“In Pakistan a cricketer is considered a senior above 35 years, veteran above 50 years and super veteran above 60 years of age once he is retired from international cricketing career. When considering the conditions in the region including Sri Lanka and India, above 35 years seniors’ cricket could be promoted with a lot of competition. This would attract a lot of media and commercial sponsorships which makes it highly marketable,” the PVCA Chairman observed.
“The PVCA initiated a series of cricket matches against India which succeeded as an annual event. This tour to Sri Lanka would be another landmark event for Pakistani veterans who look forward to a Triangular Veterans Series with India and Sri Lanka in the future,” Fawad Ijaz added.
Ashiq Hussain Qureshi, CEO, PVCA, stressed on the social welfare projects being carried out by the association apart from working for the betterment of the game.
“Joining hands with Imran Khan Foundation to provide healthcare facilities in Pakistan and working towards a better retirement scheme for the cricketers feature proninently in the list of our priorities,” he said.
A few of the Sri Lankan cricketers of the past added colour to the occasion with the presence of renowned gentlemen of the game like Michael Tissera, Roy Dias, Asoka De Silva and Anura Tennekoon who shared the golden memories with their Pakistani counterparts. It was a chance for all of them to meet once again and perhaps continue with their style in cricket as veterans in the game. Mr. Upali Dharmadasa Chairman and Prakash Schaffter Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket also witnessed a Match in Colombo and met the Pakistani Team there.
A team of veteran Pakistani cricketers are currently undertaking a goodwill tour of Sri Lanka. They have played two matches in Colombo before having moved to Kandy for the last couple of games.

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