Monday September 20, 2021

Pakistani cricketing legends laud Edgbaston get-together

BIRMINGHAM: Former Test cricketers of Pakistan living in the UK have lauded Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s (CCC) goodwill gesture for specially inviting them to watch the 3rd ODI between Pakistan and England at Edgbaston.

The invitation was part of the earlier announcement made by Club’s CEO Stuart Cain to mark the day as a celebration of Pakistani culture.

Dignitaries of Pakistani heritage from all walks of life were invited—including politicians and businessmen. Those invited included Wazir Mohammad, Zaheer Abbas, Mushtaq Mohammad, Nasim-ul-Ghani and Yasir Arafat.

Speaking to The News they said this had provided them a golden opportunity to meet with each other after a long time and share the sweet old memories of their playing days. Former

Test cricketer Wazir Mohammad, who was part of the first cricketing squad of Pakistan and also the oldest living Test cricketer of Pakistan, said the best thing was that they got a chance to meet with each other.

“We are here at the stadium for cricket but the only difference this time is that when we used to play others used to come and watch us but now we are here as spectators to watch others playing cricket,” said Wazir grinning cheerfully.

Nasim-ul-Ghani, who at the age of 16 made his Test debut against West Indies in 1958, the youngest Test cricketer at the time, said they were thankful to Warwickshire CCC for arranging this wonderful get-together which provided them a chance to meet with each other after a long time.

“It’s natural when you meet with old friends and colleagues after a while you share those memories. We have players from all age groups here, some are from near past and some more seniors and everyone is sharing their thoughts with each other,” said Ghani.

The former president of the ICC and one of the greatest and finest players of all time Zaheer Abbas, who has some unforgettable memories of this ground, said he was very glad to see senior players again.

“The credit goes to Warwickshire CCC which not only invited us to watch the game here but also provided us an opportunity to spend some time with each other,” said ZaheerAbbas who played his most famous innings at Edgbaston in 1971 scoring 274, which was only his second Test match.

“Whenever senior or former players, who’ve played for Pakistan in the past, meet up it just becomes a very colourful occasion. Not only we are sharing the sweet old memories but also discussing Pakistan cricket and the ways to improve it, hoping for the betterment of the team,” added Abbas.

Former captain and coach of Pakistan Mushtaq Mohammad said some of their golden memories were associated to this ground and will always remain attached.

“I am always welcomed here. It’s wonderful opportunity to interact with these great players who are here with their families,” he added.

“It was the brain child of one of Warwickshire CCC board members and our good friend Naz Khan who worked with CEO of Warwickshire CCC Stuart Cain to organise it for us,” added Mushtaq who is also the youngest cricketer to play when he made his debut for Pakistan in 1959.

Former Test cricketer Yasir Arafat termed this initiative by Warwickshire CCC a brilliant idea and a gesture of goodwill to invite some of the superstars and legends of the past who played for Pakistan.