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Intikhab lauds Bangladesh hospitality

DHAKA: Team manager Intikhab Alam on Friday paid glowing tribute to the people of Bangladesh for the grand hospitality extended to the Pakistan squad during their short visit for the first quarter-final of the World Cup.

Pakistan spent just four days in the Bangladesh capital and comprehensively outplayed the West Indies by 10 wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium to reach the last-four stage of the mega event.

Speaking to Dawn from Hazrat Jalal International Airport here in Dhaka just before the Pakistan squad left for Mohali via Delhi, Intikhab said the support Pakistan team got from the Bangladeshis was stupendous and Shahid Afridi’s men felt as if they were playing in front of their home crowd.

“It was simply amazing for us to see such support [here in Dhaka] for the [Pakistan] team.

“We never got the impression throughout the match that we were playing outside our country as the fans here spurred us on to put up a very efficient performance against the West Indies.

“I don’t have words, really, to express our gratitude to the people of Bangladesh. The way we were treated, before and after the game, was fabulous,” Intikhab commented.

“The generosity of the Bangladeshis was overwhelming. In fact, our team also had great crowd support during the preliminary-round matches we played there.

“The local organisers here informed us beforehand that our team would feel completely at home, just like playing in Karachi, Lahore or any other city in Pakistan. And their prediction was spot on as the team received standing ovation from a very knowledgeable and passionate crowd.”

Intikhab hoped Pakistan will tour Bangladesh in the near future for a full series and expected Bangladesh to reciprocate it as well.

“It is surprising that these two teams have not played a single Test for more than seven years.

“I remember Bangladesh playing three Tests [and five One-day Internationals] when they visited us in 2003. It is high time that we should have a bilateral series.”