Pakistan © Getty Images
Pakistan are famous for banning certain…distractions… in World Cups. ICC World Cup 1999, anyone? © Getty Images

Karachi: Jan 20, 2015

The Pakistani players, featuring in the ICC World Cup 2015 squad, have been banned from using social networking sites during the mega event, beginning next month.

Team manager, Naved Akram Cheema confirmed today that as part of their central contracts, players would not be allowed to use any social networking site on the coming tour to New Zealand and in the World Cup. “I personally feel only people with loads of free time are active on these sites and I don?t think our players will have enough time on hand for other things other than focusing on cricket and doing well in the World Cup,” the senior bureaucrat said.

He said the Board also did not want the players to get involved in unnecessary controversies which usually happens when they are active on these networking sites. Cheema, who has been appointed manager for the World Cup in place of Moin Khan and has also managed national team in the past, said that any player found guilty of violating this clause would be penalised severly.

“These players have been selected to represent their country in the biggest event of the cricket world and they need to give 100 percent and remain focused on their game that is why we have imposed this restriction so that they are not distracted,” he said.

Cheema said while he did not believe in treating the players like schoolboys or enforcing strict discipline but at same time he expected the players to be responsible, committed and act as true ambassadors of their country. Cheema said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had also decided that families of the players would not be allowed to accompany and remain with them in the World Cup. “They are allowed to have their families with them in New Zealand but for the World Cup families are not allowed to remain with them,” he said.

Cheema conceded that instructions had been given to the players to play hard cricket against India but in the highest sporting spirit and to avoid any banter or gestures which could cause tensions between the two teams or with the crowds. “The Pakistan and India match is a showpiece game of the World Cup and the entire world will be watching it so the players have been told to play fair and hard cricket to try to win the match but not to exceed limits,” he said.