LAHORE - Senior cricketers of the national team were left fuming and unhappy at a function of the Pakistan Cricket Board, held in collaboration with the PTV, after comedians ridiculed them before a live audience.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal in particular conveyed their feelings to the board officials before leaving the function to mark as a protest, which was organised by the PCB on Friday night to honour the Asia Cup winners.
When PCB media manager Nadeem Sarwar was contacted to get his point of view he denied that no player was upset with the jokes of the comedians and no one left the function early.
“No player left the function early or recorded his protest. I myself had dinner with some of the players. It was all light hearted stuff,” Sarwar said.
On the other hand, Misbah, Afridi and Umar Akmal want action against the PCB official who hired comedians for this show. The cricketers are Pakistan asset and should be respected instead of making mockery of them.
Sources said the cricketers got upset when the comedians ridiculed some of them in front of the audience. The comedians showed by gestures how Afridi was unhappy and didn’t give his 100 percent if he was not the captain, while on Misbah they commented he got out early as he wanted to be with his wife.
However, sources close to the players confirmed that Misbah, Afridi and Akmal were unhappy over the comedians’ items presentation and leave the function early.
The sources said that PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf was likely to question them about the whole issue after his return from India.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has said central contracts will be given to 42 players. He announced this in a ceremony held to honour the Asia Cup winners at Expo Centre.
Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal have been awarded category A contracts by the PCB for the calendar year 2012. M Sami, who had been picked in Pakistan’s teams in all three formats for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka after being sidelined for two years, has not received a contract.
The PCB chief has also announced a 25percent increase in the players’ salaries and 10 percent increase in the match fee while learners will also get increase in their stipends.
Punjab Governor Latif Khosa was the chief guest on the occasion while MD PTV, PCB chief, former chief Ijaz Butt and around 400 players’ fans were also present on the occasion.
The glimpses of Asia Cup were also shown during the ceremony besides music and other entertainment programmes.
Asian Cup winners awarded Rs four lakh each while team management given two lakh each. Speaking to the audience, PCB chief Zaka said that he would meet BCCI officials to discuss resumption of cricketing ties with India.Following are the contracted players:
Category A: Misbahul Haq, Younus Khan, Umer Gul, M Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Rehman, Umar Akmal.
Category B: Shoaib Malik, Taufeeq Umer, Azhar Ali. Asad Shafiq, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema.
Category C: Sarfraz Ahmad, Adnan Akmal, Hammad Azam, Wahab Riaz, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Nasir Jamshed
Stipend: Sohail Tanveer, Khalid Latif, Sharjeel Khan, Shakeel Ansar, Haris Sohail, Raza Hasan, Ahmed Shahzad, Usman Salahuddin, Ayub Dogar, Imran Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, Awais Zia, Shahzeb Hasan, M Khalil, Anwar Ali, Afaq Rahim, Bismillah Khan, Babar, Azam, Sami Aslam, Ziaol Haq, Usman Qadir.