LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister M Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should host international cricket matches in the provincial metropolis and his all-out support to the board and players.
Addressing at the prize distribution ceremony of the cricket match played between Chief Minister XI and Chairman PCB XI here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday, the CM said: “Punjab government will provide its all-out support to the cricket board in holding these events in a trend-setting manner. Holding of international events of sports in Pakistan is essential for showing the world that Pakistan is a safe and peaceful country for this purpose.”
Interim PCB chairman Najam Sethi, Provincial Minister for Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, DG SBP Usman Anwar, DG PCB Javed Miandad, Pakistan team manager Moin Khan, coach David Watmore and others were also present on the occasion.
The chief minister said that Pakistani cricket team had achieved major successes in the cricket history and if it worked hard it would also win the forthcoming series in South Africa. “Pakistani team will win the Test series if it plays with commitment and hard work.”
He said that players were ambassadors of a country in the world. He also appreciated the PCB chief Najam Sethi, Javed Miandad, Moin Khan, coach and office-bearers of the board on holding the match. “Javed Miandad and Moin Khan are well experienced players and I am hopeful they will show their team the best way to give their opponents tough time and try to win the series,” he added.
Shahbaz Sharif assured the PCB chief all-out cooperation in arranging national and international matches and said that Punjab government was taking solid measures for promotion of sports in the province and sports grounds were being constructed throughout the province.
The CM also handed over the affairs of the cricket ground for women and directed that arrangements should be made for the coaching and provision of necessary facilities to women players.
Earlier, when the chief minister reached the Gaddafi Stadium, he was introduced with the players. The three-day match was played between Chief Minister XI and Chairman PCB XI which ended in a draw.
The match was marred by rain on the second and third days therefore the match ended in a draw. Pakistan A team and national cricket team players took part in the three-day match for the preparations of South Africa series which is scheduled to be held in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the mid of this month.
At the end, chief guest Shahbaz Sharif gave a trophy to the captains of both the teams. Captains of both the teams Umer Amin and Younas Khan welcomed the holding of such matches and thanked the chief minister for his all-out support for the promotion of cricket.