Pakistan women showed courage by playing in India during World Cup, says Bushra Aitzaz

Pakistan Womens team faced a lot of security problems as political parties in India opposed their participation in the tournament © AFP

Lahore: Mar 3, 2013

Chairperson of the Pakistan Cricket Board women’s wing Bushra Aitzaz said the national team had shown lot of courage by going to play in India in the ICC World Cup and other countries, including India, must now reciprocate by playing in Pakistan.

“They were direct threats against our team and they were threats that our team will not be allowed to play in India. But we still sent our team which showed lot of courage going to India in such circumstances,” Bushra Aitzaz, the women’s wing chairperson, said.

“The board sent the team because it didn’t want the World Cup or international cricket to suffer or become a talking point,” she said on a PTV sports channel.

“Our point of view was clear that it was the responsibility of the Indian government to ensure security of our players and such threats should not stop or disrupt international cricket activities,” she said.

Bushra, who is the wife of well known politician and lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan said India should also send its team to Pakistan now.

“Security is an issue everywhere in the world but when we are willing to do everything to provide comfort and security to visiting teams they should also reciprocate and support us by playing in Pakistan,” she said.

 Pakistan captain, Sana Mir also agreed that the team had shown great courage to go and play in India in trying circumstances and despite well documented threats.

“Obviously it played on the player’s minds but we went because we feel other teams must also understand the situation Pakistan cricket is going through and they must also come,” she said.

The Pakistan team had its World Cup pool matches moved from Mumbai to Cuttuck and they had to stay at the clubhouse in the stadium because of the threats from hardline and nationalist Indian parties and groups to not allow them to play on Indian soil.

Pakistan which went to the World Cup with high hopes lost all its matches in the qualifying rounds and also the playoff for seventh place against India.

Mir also called for more support and financial incentives for women’s team.

“So far the board has supported women’s cricket in Pakistan but the rest have all been verbal promises. It is time others also came and supported us,” she said.