Monday June 17, 2024

South Africa women cricket team played international match for first time in Pakistan: envoy

By Abdul Majid Bhatti
September 03, 2023

KARACHI: Ambassador of South Africa to Pakistan, Mthuthuzeli Mdikiza, on Saturday said when he took over in 2020, he had promised Pakistan’s president that he would make efforts for restoration of international cricket in Pakistan. “Due to my efforts, South Africa’s cricket team visited Pakistan in 2021,” he added.

Mdikiza was addressing an event on Saturday in Karachi held in the honour of Pakistan and South Africa’s women cricket teams by South Africa’s Honorary Consul General Majid Bashir Ahmed. Mthuthuzeli Mdikiza said after the South Africa men’s cricket team, now South Africa’s women cricket team was also present in Karachi. The women team played an international match for the first time in Pakistan Friday night, which was won by the Pakistan women cricket team.

Meanwhile, the host and South Africa’s Consul General Majid Bashir Ahmed Khan said Nelson Mandela loved the sports and had affinity for the cricket. After spending 26 years in prison at Robben Island, Mandela came to Karachi after having been to Paris, London, New York and Moscow, which is a matter of honour for Pakistanis, he added.

“Now, we have selected a Nelson Mandela Talent Hunt team, consisting of 16 competent players from Karachi. The team will make a tour to South Africa at the end of this month and will be hosted by Nelson Mandela’s grandson,” he said.

Majid Bashir further said that Nelson Mandela once uttered historic words, stating: “Sports have the power to change the world as they unite the world. Everyone understands the language of sports all over the world.”

He said they were realizing the vision and historic words of Mandela as they had begun the Talent hunt programme. Welcoming both countries teams in Karachi, he said they were thankful to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Trans Group for their cooperation.

He further said under the Talent Hunt scheme, the Africa’s tour was being arranged to identify and encourage rising and talented cricketers. He hoped that the players would get to learn from the trip to South Africa. The South Africa women cricket team’s visit to Pakistan was a welcoming development.

Brand ambassador and former test cricket skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said giving an opportunity to rising cricketers was a welcoming development, adding that the visit to South Africa would add to their skills.

He said the South Africa’s High Commission organised trials for children and selected 16 talented cricketers, adding that he will try to join the cricketers, if he gets time.

Pakistan women cricket team skipper Nida Dar said the visit of women cricket teams of foreign countries was a positive and welcoming sign, adding that they won challenging match and wanted to win the series too.

The event was attended by foreign diplomats, citizens, politicians and management of both teams, while PCB’s women wing head Tania Malik, General Manager Aisha Ashar, members of women selection committee, former Sindh governor Gen (R) Moinuddin Haider, Dr Farooq Sattar, Irfanullah Marwat, Dr Zafar Masood, Ishtiaq Baig and former skipper of Pakistan Cricket team Sarfraz Ahmed were prominent figures.