Lahore [Pakistan], September 30 (ANI): Downplaying his alleged controversial remarks "dushman mulk" after the Pakistan cricket team landed in Hyderabad, Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) Management Committee Chairman, Zaka Ashraf called India a "traditional rival".
Earlier on Friday, in a video that is viral on social media, Zaka was heard purportedly talking about players going to "dushman mulk" (enemy country) for tournaments, while he was addressing the media about PCB's new contracts for players. His remark was allegedly targeted at India.
In the viral video, Ashraf said, "We gave these contracts to our players with love and affection. Never in the history of Pakistan, such an amount of money has been given to players. My aim was to keep the players' morale high as they go to countries, the enemy country ('Dushman Mulk') for competitions."But later on Friday, Zaka said the fantastic reception of the Pakistan men's cricket team in India for the World Cup proves how much love the people of both countries have for each other's players.
"The fantastic reception of the Pakistan team in India for the World Cup proves how much love the people of both countries have for each other's players. This love was evident by the reception arranged at the Hyderabad airport. I congratulate the Indians for arranging a reception of this kind," Ashraf said as quoted from Pakistan Cricket.
He further went on to say whenever India and Pakistan step onto the cricket field, they appear as traditional rivals but not enemies. He also asserted that the Indian fans will get to witness the best cricket from Pakistan players.
"Whenever India and Pakistan step onto the cricket field, they emerge as traditional rivals but not as enemies. I hope that throughout the entire World Cup, Pakistan cricketers will receive the same warmth, and Indian fans will get to see the best cricket from Pakistan players," Ashraf added.
In a press release released by the PCB Zaka expressed his desire for the resumption of bilateral series between both countries which read, "He expressed his desire for the restoration of bilateral cricketing relations between the two countries, allowing millions of cricket fans from both nations the opportunity to watch these players perform live. He concluded by expressing his hope that the Indian cricket team would also visit Pakistan soon, enabling Pakistan to reciprocate the warmth and love shown by India to the Pakistan cricket team." (ANI)