Punjab CM honours the Green Shirts


LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that despite heavy odds, Pakistani cricket team displayed an outstanding performance in the World Cup by defeating leading cricket teams. He said that the entire cricket team, its management and coach deserved rich appreciation for their achievement.
While addressing a reception held in the honour of the team, he said that the aim of holding an impressive ceremony was to encourage the players who had earned a good name for the country, also giving away cheques of Rs 5 lakh rupees to each player.
Provincial ministers, members of national and provincial assembly, intellectuals, columnists, high-ranking officers, veteran cricketers, famous umpire of Pakistan Aleem Dar and a large number of people belonging to various walks of life added the ceremony. The chief minister said that national cricket team reached the semi final by dint of its hard work and commitment and had stroked hard for keeping the national flag high.
He said that victory and defeat are part of the game and the defeat in the semi final should be taken with the same spirit. The CM also congratulated the nation for according a warm welcome to the national team despite defeat in the semi final which not only encouraged the players but also buried the tradition of turning national heroes into zeroes after defeat.
He said that due to law and order situation in the country, foreign teams are reluctant to visit Pakistan besides that, allegations were also leveled against the Pakistani players in the past but despite all this the national cricket team did not lose courage and put up a spirited performance. He said that during semi final he telephoned the captain of national cricket team Shahid Afridi urging him to do his best as the whole nation was praying for the success of its cricket team.
He said that when he announced 25 acres of fertile land to each player if they won the semi final, he was unduly criticized but as the members of the national team are ambassadors of the country, he had no qualms. He said that Pakistan has a marvellous cricket history and he is confident that it will further improve its performance and defeat India on their soil.
Captain of the national cricket team Shahid Afridi said that he is very thankful to Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for encouragement of the cricket team by receiving the cricket team at airport as well as arranging a reception in its honour.