ISLAMABAD, Dec 15 (APP):Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Sunday said the visit of Srilankan Cricket team would help to revive international cricket in Pakistan.
He made these remarks as chief guest at the dinner and interaction in the honour of Sri Lanka and Pakistan National cricket teams jointly organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here.
He said it was a great step taken by the government of Sri Lanka for supporting Pakistan to get international cricket back in the country.
“Pakistan has proved to the world that it’s a peaceful country and now Pakistan Super League (PSL) would also be played in the Pakistan,” he added.
Asad appreciated cricket boards of Pakistan and Sri Lanka for their endeavours for turning that into reality.
The Speaker said that Pakistan had been subjected to worst terrorism which affected the peace and stability of the country however, with the concerted counter terrorism strategy of Government, the Armed Forces and law enforcing agencies, successfully uprooted the menace.
The Speaker later individually met players of both the cricket teams and their management officials.
Captain of Sri Lanka’s National Cricket Team Dimuth Karunaratne said it was his first time to visit Pakistan and had heard a lot about Pakistan through media reports but after arriving here it was quite different as projected in the news. “Pakistan has hosted many sports events before this test match and I would thank Pakistani government and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for providing security.”
He added that the atmosphere and hospitality by the people of Pakistan was unmatched as such reception and love had never been extended by any hosting nation to us.
Inspector General Islamabad Capital Territory Police Muhammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan said, “I am grateful to Srilankan cricket board, its team captain and the ambassador designate in Pakistan Noorden Mohamed Shaheid for coming back to Pakistan.”
He said this year was very hectic for the Islamabad Police as it hosted the maximum dignitaries visiting to Pakistan including the British Royal Couple, the Dutch Queen and the Srilankan cricket team.
“All the law enforcement agencies have given their best to provide security to the Srilankan cricket team,” he added.
Srilankan Ambassador Noorden Mohamed Shaheid said Sri Lanka was the first country to initiate diplomatic ties with Pakistan in 1948 and this time we had continued to be the first to revive international cricket in the country after a decade.
There was much propaganda that due to poor security situation in Pakistan the Srilankan cricket was not visiting Pakistan whereas we had proved it wrong, he added.
Executive Director SDPI Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said it was an important moment for us as international cricket had revived due to the valiant Srilankan cricket team players coming to Pakistan. Without government’s patronage it was not possible to bring international cricket back to home grounds.
Meanwhile, Rabia Zakir a local artist presented a portrait to Sri Lanka’s cricket team captain in the memory of their visit to Pakistan.