ISLAMABAD - The ICC World Cup 2019 trophy was unveiled here at Pindi Cricket Stadium by former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector legendry Abdul Qadir on Friday afternoon.

Former skipper Salman Butt, M Asif, Kamran Akmal and other players were also present on the occasion. Only a few selected persons were given access to the stadium and masses were deprived of witnessing the historic moment in the name of security. None of the PCB top officials bothered to travel to twin cities, where the trophy will remain till today (Saturday).

The trophy was also unveiled at a private school in Islamabad in the morning and surprisingly, despite country’s premier Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Tournament is in progress in twin cities. The PCB didn’t bother to invite any Test player at the occasion. The school kids also played an exhibition match and were looking highly charged. Had the PCB used commonsense and invited Test cricketers on the occasion, it would have added to the festivity.

Speaking on the occasion, Abdul Qadir said: “It was my wish and demand of the occasion that PCB chairman Ehsan Mani should have graced the occasion along with top PCB management. It is highly unfortunate that the PCB didn’t allow general public to enjoy the festivity, which is a huge injustice to the common people of the city.

“I still had memories of the historic World Cup of 1987 during my playing days, when the world’s top players were in action. I am quite hopeful that Pakistan will win this World Cup in England, as we have great record there. Imran Khan was a great captain and being Prime Minister of the country, I am sure he will take decisions in the best interest of the cricket. I urge young cricketers to play with dedication in the World Cup. People have great love and take huge interest in cricket in Pakistan, so the team mustn’t disappoint the nation,” he added.

Qadir was never allowed to talk freely and was kept on disturbing by the PCB officials and only after three minutes, the trophy was taken back to the vehicle. Qadir was looking highly upset and he time and again requested the PCB officials not to disturb him. He wasn’t talking against anyone but just talking about cricket, but all his requests fell on deaf ears and the PCB officials never paid any heed to his requests.

Test-discard wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal said: “Every cricketer wants to lift the World Cup trophy, as it would be icing on the cake. If the national team play well as a unit and not commit same old mistakes, they are bound to excel and will be able to defeat any given team on their given day.

“PCB must keep in mind the World Cup and prepare pitches, which green caps have to face during the mega event. The real test of players’ character will be defined when they are going to play against the top teams. The more they play against tough opponents, the better it will help them prepare well for the mega event,” he added.

He said the selectors must keep in mind one-day and four-day performances of the players in domestic cricket before selecting the team instead of just focusing on PSL performances. “Every cricketer wants to play the World Cup. The PCB must start preparing squad for the World Cup and no more experiments should be made. The trusted players should be given the chance to represent the country to stand realistic chances of lifting the mega trophy once again,” Kamran said.

The trophy will be taken to capital today (Saturday), where it will start its journey from historic Faisal Mosque, Pir Sohawa, National Monument and then to last destination Karachi and from there, it will fly to Bangladesh.