Islamabad: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee chairperson Zaka Ashraf has stirred another controversy amid the Pakistan team’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, starting from October 5 onwards.
In a video that is viral on social media, Zaka was heard 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 allgeddly 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.”
These remarks made by Zaka Ashraf amid the warm reception received by Pakistan’s players in India at Hyderabad ahead of the tournament have drawn the ire of both Indian and Pakistan cricket fans, with many expressing their anger against Zaka’s statements on social media. Several Pakistani netizens criticised Zaka for his statement.
“Shame on PCB chairman on calling India “Dushman mulk* despite a warm welcome from them, zaka ashraf is the real dhusman of our team. Dear Indian don’t take him serious, he just a political tout that’s why he was made chairman. #PAKvNZ #PakistanCricketTeam,” said Pakistan cricket fan Tehseenqasim in a post on X.
Shame on PCB chairman on calling India “Dushman mulk*despite a warm welcome from them, zaka ashraf is the real dhusman of our team. Dear Indian don’t take him serious, he just a politcal tout that’s why he was made chairman. #PAKvNZ #PakistanCricketTeampic.twitter.com/6SwGujAoG1
— Tehseen Qasim (@Tehseenqasim) September 29, 2023
Another cricket fan in Pakistan described the statement from the PCB Chief as irresponsible
“Irresponsible statement from the head of PCB Zaka Ashraf. India is not ourt enemy.” posted Sultan Khan on X
Irresponsible statement from the head of PCB Zaka Ashraf
— Sultan Khan (@MainHoonSultan7) September 28, 2023
The Pakistan team, will play their first warm-up match against New Zealand in Hyderabad today. It will be followed by another warm-up match against Australia on October 3.
Pakistan will start its World Cup campaign against the Netherlands from October 6 onwards.