Peshawar: Oct 13, 2013
The who’s who of Pakistan cricket turned out for a peace match organised by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in the city on Sunday with former captain and the PTI founder, Imran Khan making his presence at the jam packed stadium as the chief guest.
The PTI sports and culture wing, which organised the match, had already hinted that Imran might be seen on the cricket field for the first time since his retirement in 1992.
Imran watched the match from the enclosure as thousands of spectators danced and enjoyed themselves watching their favourite stars in action.
“It is a great day for Peshawar and the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Province (KPP) as thousands of people have turned out today to watch this spectacle despite the ongoing wave of terrorism in the country and province,” a senior official of the party said.
KPP, which is ruled by Imran’s PTI party has been the worst hit by terrorist attacks in the last few years as it borders the tribal agencies and war torn Afghanistan, which are the hotbed of the Tehreek e Taliban and al Qaeda.
“The idea to have a series of peace matches was by Imran himself who wants the world to see that the people of this place are peace loving and want to live a normal life,” Ifthikar Mian of the PTI sports and culture wing said.
The star of the match was the flamboyant allrounder, Shahid Afridi who cracked a blistering 66 from just 19 balls to lead the Pakistan Peace XI to a comfortable win against the KP Peace XI.
Even Pakistan’s former captain Saleem Malik, who is serving a life ban for match fixing, turned out for the match and showed his deft touch with a classical 51 runs.
Imran, on the occasion, promised that his government would build stadia in the province and he would take personal interest to see the province players of the calibre of Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi.
With Imran being behind organising the match, all the top former players showed up for the T20 game including Inzamam ul Haq, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Khalid Latif, Sohail Tanvir, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar, Akram Raza,Ashraf Ali, Rameez Raja, Taufeeq Ahmad and Aamir Sohail.
The Pakistan Peace eleven included Shahid Afridi, Yasir Hameed, Ijaz Ahmad, Salim Malik, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Qadir, Umar Gul, Shabbir Ahmad, Nasir Jamshed, Wajahat Ullah Wasti, Roa Iftikhar, Imran Farhat, Mohsin Kamal.