Prime Minister Imran Khan met the Pakistan cricket team for the T20 World Cup at the PM House in Islamabad on Wednesday (today) to encourage the players. 

The prime minister discussed the current situation and preparations for the world event.

The team members were dressed in white shalwar-kameez and green waistcoats. They had a group photograph before meeting the premier.

The meeting has an added significance in the backdrop of cancellations of tours of New Zealand and England cricket team recently on “security threats.”

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja also attended the meeting.

The prime minister shared his cricketing experience with the players and encouraged them.

He spoke to every player separately.

Prime Minister Imran advised the players to keep their heads high while on the field. Win or loss are the part of the game, one should not accept defeat till the last ball, he added.

He urged them to play with high spirit and enthusiasm and celebrate every moment, claiming a wicket or scoring runs.

The premier said that a player fights till the end and does not give up, never consider yourself weak, work hard and give your 100 percent.

He advised the players to forget the New Zealand and England episodes. “Focus on the World Cup,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran shared his memories of 1992 World Cup and said that the world gave us no rating. Everybody thought that we would not get to next round. But by the grace of God, we won the World Cup.

He advised the players to play aggressive game and as a single unit.

“Play only for Pakistan and leave the result to Allah. One can change his destiny with effort and hard work. There are two paths, one is of honor and the other is of wealth. You have to break the idol of money. You have to play for the team and the nation. The nation has pinned high hopes on you.”

NZ, ENGLAND TOURS: New Zealand called off tour on Friday hours before the start of first One-Day International at Rawalpindi citing “security” reasons. On Monday, England also cancelled their tour to Pakistan due to security concerns.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry revealed that the threatening email to the New Zealand squad – that forced it to call off tour to Pakistan – was sent from India. 

Addressing a press conference along with Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, the information minister said Pakistan was facing a hybrid and fifth-generation war. 

Fawad spoke about a fake social media post that was shared with former TTP commander Ehsanullah Ehsan’s name, adding that the post warned the New Zealand team against touring Pakistan. 

“The post stated that the New Zealand cricket team should not go to Pakistan as Daesh would attack it,” he said. 

He said that an article was published in The Sunday Guardian two days later (August 21) by the paper’s bureau chief Abhinandan Mishra, who wrote the same thing: “The New Zealand cricket team could get attacked in Pakistan.”

“The article centered around Ehsanullah Ehsan’s post,” Fawad said.

“Indian journalist Abhinandan Mishra has close relations with former Afghan vice president Amrullah Saleh,” he added. 

The information minister revealed that on August 24, a threatening email was sent to New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill’s wife, using the tag “Tehreek-e-Labbaik”. The email, Fawad said, carried a death threat. 

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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