Pakistan’s international cricket World Cup journey has come to an end with the national team requiring to beat Bangladesh with a mammoth margin on Friday, which is almost impossible. However, another cricket team of Pakistan is eyeing the World Cup victory in England.
For the first time in Pakistani cricket and political history, a Pakistani team comprising parliamentary members of national assembly and provincial assemblies are going to participate in Intra-Parliamentary Cricket World Cup in the United Kingdom from July 8 to 12. World politicians will be seen engaged in a different kind of turf war here.
Parliamentary members of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, South Africa, England, Australia, Afghanistan and New Zealand will take part in this event.
Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser had sought help from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for training and selection of the parliamentarians. MNA Makhdoom Zain Hussain Qureshi will be captain of Pakistan. Asad Qaiser has directed the team members to personally bear the expenditures of the tour to allay the burden on national exchequer.
Zain Qureshi said, “All of the team members are paying expenses from their own pocket. Let’s get behind them and hope they bring back the World Cup.”
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza, an MP, fulfills the requirement to participate in the event after his One Day International team fails to reach the semis. The tournament has been organized by Chris Heaton-Harris, MP House of Commons.
Talking to BBC Urdu, Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri said it will provide them a chance to make good relations with parliamentarians and portray soft image of Pakistan.
Asad Qaiser said they were trying to rehabilitate relations with other countries through cricket diplomacy and revive cricket in Pakistan.
Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Syed Mustafa Mehmood said Pakistan’s position specially in Europe and among commonwealth countries was not much good, so the tournament will project positive image of the country.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Federal Minister Ali Amin Gandapur said being member of the parliament whose prime minister had won the World Cup as a captain, they were obliged to perform well and win the trophy.
PTI MNA Ali Nawaz Awan said usually they were seen fighting in the assembly but if you see them in the playground they may be from different parties but they would be sitting on the same benches sharing cheers for a boundary or a wicket. “We may have difference of opinion and ideology but as a whole we are like common Pakistanis. We too have good relations with each other.”
PTI MNA Imran Khattak said Zain Qureshi had expressed his desire to Bangladesh team for a bilateral series between parliamentarians after the World Cup.
PPP MNA Syed Murtaza Mehmood hailed the instance that members of different parties were participating in the tourney under one flag of Pakistan. “I am looking forward to enjoy this,” he said.