With the Pakistan team arriving in Hyderabad on Wednesday for the World Cup, PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf triggered the clash between the country’s fans with a controversial statement.
Zaha Ashraf’s controversial statement
Pakistan had traveled to India to mark their first visit to the country in seven years as they scheduled to play in the 2023 ODI World Cup Cricket. They had planned on reaching Dubai before reaching Hyderabad but the delay in the visa made a change in their plans. Pakistan have not played any series after their defeat in the Asia Cup 2023.
Despite these two countries having political tension over the years, the Indian fans showed their respect and love for the sport by chanting the name of Pakistan Skipper Babar Azam and other players at the Hyderabad airport.
It was a memorable moment for Babar Azam and his co who made it the first time to travel India except Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Agha.
On this occasion, PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf made a controversial statement during the press statement in Pakistan, referring India as an enemy nation while discussing the reception from Indian fans at the Hyderabad airport.
“We have shown our love towards our players with the new contracts. No one has allocated as much budget toward player contracts as I’ve done. Mera maksad ye hi hai ki hamaare players ka morale up rehna chahiye, jab ye dushman mulk me khelne jaaye, ya kahi bhi jaaye jaha competition ho raha hai. (I only want my players to be in high morale when they travel to an enemy nation, or anywhere in the world, to take part in the competition),” Ashraf said.
With his post, many fans expressed their anger against Zaka’s statements on social media. Pakistan netizens criticized the PCB head for his statement.
“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 seriously, he just a political tout that’s why he was made chairman. #PAKvNZ #PakistanCricketTeam,” said Pakistan cricket fan Tehseenqasim in a post on X.
Pakistan arrived in India less than 48 hours before the Warmup games. They are said to face New Zealand in their first Warm-up games on September 29 and will be playing against and will be playing against Australia on October 3
Pakistan squad for World Cup 2023
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.