Musharraf lauds PCB effort to honour former cricketers

The President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, on Saturday urged the World Cup-bound Pakistan squad to start afresh in the West Indies to produce a performance which portray courage and determination for achieving desired results in the mega event.

He was speaking at Bahar-e-Cricket Programme organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) here at the Gadaffi stadium to raise funds for Cricket Pension Plan for former Test cricketers and National Literacy Programme.

The President termed the Pakistan team as a combination of talent and skills capable of beating any top team of the world in the Cup.

“What is needed here is determination and the right approach to go into the field with a positive mind to beat the opponents and if our players have this thought in their mind, they can defeat their respective opponents no matter how strong or top-ranked they are,” he explained.

The President said the team must leave behind what happened in the past and in this regard referred to their performance in the recently-concluded tour of South Africa where they lost both the Test and One-day International (ODI) series.

“If we analyse the performance of our team during the past three years, they have shown improvement in their game, barring their performance in South Africa and we must not get disappointed with the results they have produced in the last few months,” he expressed.

“Great people do not lose hope no matter they suffer from difficulties which serve as a lesson to improve further and an inspiration to do better,” he explained.

The President, who is also the Patron of the PCB, said a tough mental approach is needed to lift the performance of the team in World Cup.

“If the team goes into the arena with hope that they will lose then they cannot perform up to a high level and if they have the will and determination, they can fight back no matter what circumstances they go through,” he added.

The President advised the team members not to bow down to the pressure and to play the matches of the grand event (World Cup) with the sole target in their mind that is they have to win.

The President, while praising the individual talent and potentialities of players of the team, said they are full of promise and will hopefully live up to the expectations.

“It is the same team which can perform to the highest level because of presence of committed players in their ranks,” he added.

The President, who is a keen cricket follower, expressed his faith in Inzamam-ul-Haq’s team and urged them to remain focus throughout the tournament to put up a good performance.

The President also met the members of the cricket team and former Test cricketers who were present to receive their pension cheques under a programme launched by the PCB for their welfare and to acknowledge their services for the cause of the game.

The President had also a brief chat with all the members of the team and during his conversations with Inzamam, he

said: “People are expecting a lot from your team in the World Cup and as a captain there is bigger responsibility on your shoulders to inspire them to a level to produce fine performances and motivate them to blend into a winning combination”.

Inzamam, in reply, assured the President that collective efforts would be made to attain glory in the World Cup and said the team is united and ready to launch their campaign in the World Cup.

The President also lauded the steps taken by the PCB for providing financial assistance to the former cricketers and said this step would long be remembered in cricket.

“It is not just a monetary benefit being given to the former stars, it is a gesture of feelings to recognise their services,” he added. “It is the best way to honour our heroes,” he expressed.

On the occasion, a cricket bat carrying the signatures of President Musharraf, the chairman of the PCB and the members of Pakistan cricket team was also auctioned at US dollars 30,000.
Source:The News

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