Had no plans for special celebration against India: Pak team manager

Sarfaraz Ahmed. File Photo

Karachi, June 12: Pakistan team manager Talat Ali rubbished media reports that his players have had to be told to celebrate with restraint during their clash against India on Sunday, saying they had no extravagant plans to begin with. 

Ali rebutted reports that Prime Minister Imran Khan instructed the players to avoid celebrations in the match against India at Manchester. “No such instructions have been issued to the players. The players met with Imran Khan at Bani Gala before flying to London. After that the Prime Minister has had no contact with the players,” Ali, a former Test player, said. “We follow the guideline given to us by the Pakistan Cricket Board, and for us, the match against India is just like against any other team. Obviously, it is a high-profile match but we just focus on cricket and don’t have any politics in our mind,” he asserted.

Earlier, the team had to issue a statement negating media reports that Pakistan players were planning to wear camouflage military caps during the match against India. “…we have no special plans for the match. As far as the cricket is concerned, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and head coach Mickey Arthur are discussing strategy and the team for the important match. But our players will only focus on playing good cricket,” he said.

The match will be the first between the two archrivals since the terror attack in Pulwama. There were calls by some former Indian players and politicians to boycott the match. Ali said at the moment, the Pakistan team was more focussed on its crucial match against Australia on Wednesday. 

‘Sarfaraz not happy with Taunton pitch’

Karachi: Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is apparently not happy with the grassy pitch prepared for their match against defending champions Australia at Taunton on Wednesday. According to a report in the Jang newspaper from Taunton, Ahmed after inspecting the pitch at the ground was not happy that Pakistan would have to play on a track that clearly will have bounce, pace and help for the pace bowlers. The report quoting Geo News said that Ahmed is unhappy that Pakistan generally get pitches in the ICC events that do not favour their game. 

According to the report, Ahmed has complained that, in contrast, India always gets pitches in the ICC events which favour batsmen and the spinners and these things are ideally suitable for the Asian teams. — PTI