Zaka Ashraf calls for brotherly ties among cricket playing nations

BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla (right) and PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf speak during the event on September 4 — PCB

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf on Monday stressed the need to establish brotherly ties among the cricket-playing nations.

He made the remarks while addressing a dinner hosted by the PCB for a delegation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and various teams participating in the Asia Cup at the Punjab Governor House.

A four-member delegation of the BCCI, led by President Roger Binny and Vice-President Rajiv Shukla, arrived in Lahore via Wagha border crossing today.

The delegation arrived at the invitation of the PCB management committee chairman. Secretary UP Cricket Association Yudhvir Singh and Secretary to Vice-President BCCI Mohammad Akram were also part of the visiting delegation.

The BCCI delegation is the first of its kind since 2008 and reflected the thaw in relations between the BCCI and the PCB.

Ashraf welcomed the BCCI’s delegation in Pakistan. Following the match in Kandy, Pakistani and Indian players met like “brothers”, he added.

Addressing the event, BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla said that cricket establishes relations between the two countries. The Indian cricket board’s official said that he had visited Lahore accompanied by former Indian PM Vajpayee.

He appreciated Lahore’s hospitality and the behaviour of the people.

Earlier, talking to the media persons outside a local hotel, BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla said they had been invited by the PCB, host of the Asia Cup 2023, and they took it as an honour to come and watch the matches.

He said the BCCI and the PCB enjoyed decades-long cricketing relationships, and they were pleased to reciprocate the invitation. Shukla said they will take fond memories of the visit back home to India.

BCCI President Roger Binny, who is a former fast bowler, said he had visited Pakistan back in 2005 when he worked with the Pakistan fast bowlers for the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). He thanked the PCB for inviting them to watch the Asia Cup 2023 matches.

Ashraf said he was thankful to the dignitaries for accepting his invitation to watch matches in Lahore. He expressed the hope that the bilateral cricketing relations between India and Pakistan would grow from here onwards, adding that the visit would strengthen ties between the two countries.

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