Cuttack: Feb 8, 2013
Pakistan women‘s cricket team on Friday returned from Odisha with “sweet” personal experiences even as their journey in the ICC World Cup was not “so pleasant” as was expected of them.
“We express deep gratitude to Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) for allowing us to play the World Cup matches at Barabati Stadium. We are returning with sweet experiences,” Pakistan skipper Sana Mir said at the farewell dinner hosted by OCA on the eve of their departure.
Asked to elaborate on the “sweet experiences”, Sana said the team members were offered delicious sweets every day.
“I specially liked the Chenna Poda which is not available in Pakistan”, she said.
Besides “Chenna Poda”, the players were served with “Rasabali”, “Khir Sagar”, “Malpua”, Chenna Jhili” and many such sweets.
During their 12-day stay at the OCA Club in Barabati Stadium due to security reasons, the players and team members were provided delicious food and other amenities by OCA.
Besides Sangh Parivar, certain political parties had staged demonstrations almost every day opposing Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup.
Showering praise on the OCA which hosted the ICC Women’s World Cup matches at a short notice, the Pakistan manager Basit Ali said: “I have toured worldwide. But the kind of affection we got in Odisha cannot be described in words. We feel like leaving behind our own country”.
Besides OCA president Ranjib Biswal and secretary Asirbad Behera, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) tournament director Suru Nayak, top police officers, city mayor and other dignitaries also joined the dinner party hosted for the visiting team.
“OCA has tried its best to provide maximum comfort and luxury to the team. Had there been any lapses in service hopefully the Pakistan team will ignore it and forgive us,” Behera said.
At the end, as a goodwill gesture from the side Pakistan women’s team manager Basit Ali presented to the OCA a bat containing the signatures of all the players and support staff of the team.