Ijaz Butt keeping cool

LAHORE: The rivalry between the two countries might have aroused emotion to the point of becoming war-like, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt crossed the border with a calm head and thinking only about the sport.

The chairman, however, was confident Pakistan would do well because players’ morale was high. And though he played down the attached emotions, he acknowledged that “exceptional circumstances” had made it the most important match of the World Cup.

“It’s not war, just a cricket match between two countries,” he said. “And results can be either way but both Pakistan and India are fairly-balanced teams plus our team is on a high, something that I wasn’t excepting much.

“Given the recent tough times, I think the team has already done us proud by coming this far. It has shown to the world what Pakistan cricket is all about. I think the International Cricket Council could not have hoped for a better advertisement than this semi-final.”