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From London to Pakistan: for the Love of Club Cricket

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From master blaster Shahid Afridi to wicket-knocking Shaheen Shah Afridi have pledged all support for London cricketers who are on a tour of Pakistan. The theme of their tour is “love for club cricket,” as they hope their tour will ignite more passion and competitiveness at the club level.

Cricket is the number one sport in Pakistan and to say this about the United Kingdom (Great Britain) must be an under-statement. The Britishers were the pioneers of the game and they have made it pervasive to an extent that now more than 100 countries play the game globally.

The pace giant Waqar Younis led the good wishes for the London CC. “I wish London boys the best of luck. Pakistan is the best place for cricket, enjoy the visit,” was Waqar’s message for the tour. Pakistan’s pace sensation Shaheen said he was praying for the best results on the tour. “My best wishes and prayers for London Cricketers CC.. play good cricket and enjoy the tour,” was what Shaheen had to say.

Former England batting great David Gower advised the London Club to enjoy the tour to the hilt. “You are going to Pakistan for a tour, so that should be the most fantastic experience. I have been there a couple of times, in fact a couple of times in the last few years as well, and I tell you straight away that this is the most welcoming county. They love their cricket and the hospitality is always outstanding. There is so much to enjoy when you go to Pakistan; the culture, the food, the people, everything is there to be experienced. All the venues are great. So the trick is this: play as well as you can, that’s always a given on a cricket tour but, look, enjoy the hospitality, the people and the country and it will be the most magnificent experience,” was what Gower advised the London boys. Gower is spot on, just like his cover drive.

The British High Commissioner in Pakistan Jane Marrotte has also pitched the tour as “wonderful opportunity” for the London Club. “No doubt that you are going to have a wonderful trip in this peaceful and diverse country,” said Ms Jannet in a message. “The UK and Pakistan share a love for cricket that strengthens our friendship. Your visit is excellently timed ahead of Pakistan’s women and Men touring the UK for international matches in May. As you tour a country you will find Pakistan hospitality unmatched. I hope you will share these stories when you are back in the UK… wishing you the best of luck.”

The 22-man squad is led by an affable person in Irfan Akram. Those who have toured England with the Pakistan cricket team are familiar with Irfan. He is the perennial liaison officer for Pakistan team, showing the infectious smile all the time during his co-ordination and working out various matters for Team Green.

The squad played a match against Aleem Dar Academy at Aleem Dar Cricket Ground on April 14 while the next day’s opponents were the famous P&T Gymkhana on the next day (April 15). The matches against Azhar Ali Academy and Abdul Qadir Cricket Academy are scheduled on April 17. The visiting players will also go to Sialkot where a match will be played against the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry team. A match against Hasan Raza Cricket Academy in Islamabad is also a part of the program. They will also play in Abbottabad and Murree on this tour.

The team that is visiting Pakistan includes Haris Usman, Abdullah Akbar, Zoraid Saeed, Herath Wajid, Sahar Akbar, Faheem Aziz, Stephen Ramidal, Zain Shehzad, Soha Iqbal, Jan Sher Akbar, Irfan Akram, Haris Raza, Hasan Ali Iqbal, Ehsan Shah, Anthony Smith, Scott Emmons, Shahid Akbar, Adnan Akram and Dave Ramidel.

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