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World Cup 2011 squad honoured by Sindh CM

KARACHI, April 8: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Friday hosted a reception for the players and officials of national cricket squad for reaching the semi-finals of the recently-concluded World Cup.

“These cricketers are ambassadors of Pakistan and they did well to earn applause and honour for the country in the [2011] World Cup,” Qaim said during a reception hosted in the team’s honour at CM House here.

He congratulated each and every member of the team and officials for qualifying for the semi-final phase before losing to India at Mohali.

Every player and official of the World Cup squad was awarded Rs500,000 each and presented ‘ajraks’ and souvenirs by the Sindh CM for putting up a good show in the mega event.

“These cricketers are national assets and they must be encouraged and honoured,” Sindh CM stated while commending the Pakistan squad for showing great sportsmanship throughout the World Cup.

Qaim further said it was great to see Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh inviting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to witness the Indo-Pak semi-final.

“Besides watching the match the two prime ministers must have discussed many things of mutual interest,” Qaim expressed, thanking on behalf of the people of Sindh and his provincial cabinet the Pakistan team for their good show in the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said he had never seen in his 14-year international career a team working so hard to prepare for the global event.

“[Prior to the World Cup] Pakistan team had gone through a troublesome time. But our boys put up a great fight to reach the semi-final,” Afridi said on the occasion, thanking the PCB for supporting the players and team officials.

Team manager Intikhab Alam said Pakistan were not rated good when they started the event and added that reaching the semi-finals was a great achievement.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt said it was great gesture from Sindh CM to greet and honour the team.

“This kind of encouragement and respect will have positive impact on the players,” Ijaz said.

Sindh Sports Minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah congratulated the team in reaching the semi-finals which he said was a good performance.

The reception was also attended by former Pakistan captain and Director General PCB Javed Miandad, chief selector Mohsin Khan, provincial ministers, KCCA President Syed Sirajul Islam Bokhari and Secretary Prof. Ejaz Farooqi.