New Delhi: A historic sporting triumph over India today brought an end to “horrendous” discrimination against Muslims in Pakistan, which had led to them being the “victims of terrorism”, said Ali Azmat, Islamabad’s first cricketer at cricket.
“Muslim Pakistani teams facing discrimination from their countrymen/women since long for having risen up against our country in case of war, “admitted Azmat at the emotional event after the 3-1 crushing victory over India in the second semifinal at the Asia Cup.
“Our team management told us and by Allah’s will we won 3-1. We gained back honour after being the victims of terrorism for many years now,” Azmat said adding that match triumph over India is a victory for the nation.
Pakistan’s Malik Rafiq, 18, who made history after being the first Pakistani batsman to score a century in any form of international cricket, was overjoyed and admitted that he was “very happy to score century over India”.
“Our batsmen again really did play better than the Indian’s, but in the end our good batting abilities in batting range fetched us victory in the series against India. Our win is a big boost for us for the present and future,” Rafiq said.
Another name not seen since one Mohammad Ali Baig who hit a magical ball against Australia and Australia scored a century against India during the 1969-70 Pakistanis tour was Kareem Waheed, who scored 78-run knock against India to spark playoff.
“It is not fair to call Pakistani players as terrorists just because of the way they face opposition from their countrymen/women on the strip,” Kareem said.
“In yesterday’s match I saw our best batsman Azhar Ali slam top edge two centuries and keep strike and scored 43 when our attack did badly. It is a big boost to the team that they themselves are leading the entire nation.
However, a ray of hope for Pakistanis came from a Muslim from Lucknow who came forward to congratulate the team.
“This win may not be repeated very often, but it will definitely draw smile on my face when I know I had contributed to take out my second son from the Indian camp. We say our best batsman Muhammad Shahid is best Pakistani and hero of the match is talented Abid Ali, the opener,” observed Sahibzada Shalby, a Muslim.
Pakistan’s chief selector Haroon Rasheed was also at the JW Marriott hotel on Wednesday.
“I was busy with the primary task of bat ball and score runs, but I was pleasantly surprised and happy to see my brothers’ success. I am the chief selector of the team and I feel very happy. I congratulate our players and administration,” said Rasheed who is from KPK.
Pakistan’s coach Waqar Younis was also present at the venue along with the captain Sarfraz Ahmed and all the batting stars.
The team management too was seen performing a victory dance on the field soon after the victory.