UK tour by Pakistan men, women’s cricket teams an ‘exciting prospect’: British PM544 views
LAHORE: British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday sent best wishes for Pakistan men and women cricket teams’ forthcoming tour to England and hoped that ‘one day in the not too distant future I will be able to wish the England cricket team a successful tour of Pakistan’ also.
The message of the British premier was read out at an Iftar dinner for Pakistan men’s cricket team and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hosted by the British High Commissioner here at the newly built British Council Library.
High Commissioner Thomas Drew CMG also faced a delivery from Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah on the occasion with wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed behind the wickets and Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq in the slips.
The Iftar dinner was hosted on the eve of the team’s departure for the United Kingdom. The Pakistan cricket team is set to challenge England in a packed tour of four Tests, five One-Day Internationals and one T20 International match in July and August.
The women’s team, which has already arrived in England, will play three One-Day Internationals and three T20 International matches.
The High Commissioner passed on a message from the British Prime Minister Cameron written especially for the dinner.
“A UK tour by Pakistan’s cricket teams is always an exciting prospect and I am sure we can expect some exceptional cricket this summer. But this trip also provides an opportunity to pause to reflect on, and celebrate, the wider historical, cultural and community links that exist between our two great cricketing nations,” Cameron said in the message.
“As you break your fast together on the eve of your departure to the UK, please accept my very best wishes for the Holy month of Ramadan. I hope that both the men and women’s teams have a fantastic stay in Britain. And I hope that one day in the not too distant future I will be able to wish the England cricket team a successful tour of Pakistan.”
The British High Commissioner was joined by prominent figures from the worlds of sport, culture, media, business, government and civil society to wish the ‘Boys and Girls in Green’ well.
Joined by the PCB’s Chairman Shahryar Khan and Chairman Executive Committee Najam Sethi, Thomas Drew extended his best wishes to both England and Pakistan.
“I am delighted to be hosting this Iftar dinner for the Pakistan Cricket Team on the eve of your departure for the United Kingdom to play England,” he said.
“This is a significant event for me – not just because I like a good game of cricket. It is also because of the power of sport to achieve all the things that I, as a diplomat, try to do to bring our two countries together. Our respective cricket teams – Men and Women’s – have ambassadorial powers that I can only dream of.
“Sport is particularly powerful in reaching out to the young, who represent the future of our two countries – and are the focus of so much of the UK’s work here. Indeed, alongside our education work, this magnificent British Council library, which I opened only two weeks ago is another important example of that.”
“I haven’t forgotten who pays my salary, fond though I am of Pakistan, so I won’t pretend that I will be supporting anyone other than the home team. But my biggest hope is for a great summer of sport, where the cricket does the talking. And I wish Pakistan’s teams a fabulous stay in Britain.”
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