Sharjah, 23 March 2019:
Pakistan cricketers celebrated Pakistan Day with fervour and zeal, vowing to do more service and bring more laurels to the country in the game, which binds the nation through achievements.
23 March is the day which raises awareness among the new generation about the struggle of the Muslims for their right to self-determination and a separate homeland. The Day changed the history of the sub-continent with the passing of the Pakistan Resolution on this day in 1940.
Stand-in captain Shoaib Malik said the youth must realise the importance of the Pakistan Day.
“Our elders tell us the importance of Pakistan Day,” said Malik. “On this Day, Pakistan Resolution was passed and the vision of a separate homeland was firmed.
“As cricketers, we pledge to do our best for the country. We want to win as many matches we play in the Pakistan colours and that is the best gift we can give to our country and to the people.”
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Pakistan’s captain across all three formats, celebrated the Day in Karachi and reiterated the pledge.
“Pakistan Day Mubarak. It’s an important day for Pakistan because on this day the founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and his colleagues passed this Resolution that we should have a country of our own,” recalled Sarfaraz.
“I thank Almighty that we are in Pakistan and call ourselves citizens of an independent and free country, so we have to do our best for the progress of the country. We are here because of Pakistan.
“We as cricketers can win matches for our country because this is a game that binds the whole nation. Wherever we go, we are recognised as Pakistanis and that is a big pride for us,” said Sarfaraz.
All-rounder Imad Wasim congratulated the people of Pakistan.
“Pakistan Day Mubarak,” said Imad. “We are united as a Nation and in this same way we have spent all our lives. I pray that our country live thousands and millions of years and we remain united.”
Imad thanked the country for giving him and fellow players name and respect.
“The name and respect we cricketers have got is because of Pakistan,” said Imad. “We are because of Pakistan, we are loved by the people because of Pakistan and we love our country.”
Imad said cricket has given happiness to the people of Pakistan.
“I think the ICC Champions Trophy win is the most memorable moment for this batch of cricketers,” said Imad. “There are many other achievements like the 1992 World Cup, but for this current group it’s the ICC Champions Trophy which stands out.”
Opener Shan Masood admitted there is no pride more than representing ‘your country at the highest level’.
“Pakistan Day Mubarak from me and all the team members. I pray that Pakistan progresses and is always be on the right path,” prayed Shan.
“I hope we all work hard to help Pakistan progress.
“I think there is no more pride for an individual than to represent your her country at the highest level. This is the biggest honour I could have got and all my fellow players feel the same.”
Shan said every match he plays wearing the green Pakistan cap is memorable.
“Every match is memorable and the star on the chest motivates us do the best,” said Shan.
Another opener Imam-ul-Haq stressed that youngsters should realise the difficulties with which Pakistan came into being.
“Pakistan Day is a big day,” said Imam. “We got our country after a big struggle, so I urge the people to do their best.
“I am lucky that I am playing for Pakistan and I thank Allah for this honour that He has bestowed on me. It's our responsibility to do the best for our country.”
Fast bowler Mohammad Amir said he feels lucky at getting a name through Pakistan.
“The Pakistan Day reminds us of the struggle through which we got a separate country,” said Amir. “We should always be united and there is nothing bigger than the country. I earned my name because of Pakistan.”
Amir recalled three key moments in his career.
“I always cherish three moments in my career. The first, when I played for Pakistan with a star on my chest, then winning the 2009 World Twenty20 in England, and then 2017 Champions Trophy win, also in England and Wales.
“We must always pray for the well-being of Pakistan. Cricket gives happiness to the nation, so we must do our best to bring more and more wins for the country.”
Fast bowler Junaid Khan echoes the same sentiments.
“We should always pray for a prosperous Pakistan, especially on this Day,” said Junaid. “We are recognised throughout the world because of Pakistan and that identity is because of an independent country.”
Recalled batsman Umar Akmal congratulated the nation on Pakistan Day.
“Pakistan Day Mubarak to all the Pakistanis wherever they live,” said Umar. “It’s a festival we should celebrate wholeheartedly. It’s a big joy for us.”
Umar said all cricketers owe their name to the country.
“Obviously, if there was no Pakistan, we would not have been here. We are because of Pakistan. Whatever cricket I have played, every single match is memorable and whatever I achieve, it will be for Pakistan, for it’s elevation and good name in the world,” said Umar.