KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the successful holding of PCL matches in the current and previous seasons stand testimony to the fact that Pakistan is a peaceful country that has successfully rooted out the menace of terrorism after rendering numerous sacrifices.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was speaking at a reception he hosted in honour for PSL teams players, owners, and PCB officials, including chairman.

The reception was attended by Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Corps Commander Karachi Lt-Gen Humayun Aziz, Chairman PCB Ehsan Mani, AVM Ch Mohammad Ahsan Rafique, COMKAR Vice Admiral Asif Khalid, provincial minister, MPAs and notables.

The chief minister said that he is pleased to welcome all the PSL teams player, managements and other guests. He termed cricket a passion for all Pakistanis, saying that your [players, coaches and other foreigners] presence in Karachi is the manifestation of your confidence in this city- which is a city of lights, a city of opportunities, a city that promotes and preaches only love and brotherhood.

Sindh govt hosts reception for PSL teams at Mohatta Palace

Mr Shah said that Karachi is a city cricket lovers. “This PSL fever has now reached at its zenith where these days “we eat, drink and breath cricket.” “The successful holding of PSL matches this year and last year proves Pakistan is a peaceful country that has successfully eradicated the menace of terrorism that threatened it in recent years,” he said and added “Cricket is sports that transcends borders and reaches out to people everywhere that it is played. The beauty of Cricket is that it is loved by young and old alike in Pakistan and all are very passionate about the game.”

The chief minister said that last year, he had requested the PCB to allow at least one PSL match to be played in Karachi. “The arrangements, the reception and the atmosphere generated by the crowd at that match made it a memorable event,” he said and added as a result, this year the PCB decided to hold five matches in Karachi and finally Karachi was chosen for hosting all the eight matches, including the final. “This, I feel is the result of our hard work last year and Karachi’s passion for cricket,” he said.

He said he hope that the Lahore Qalandars must have enjoyed their visit to Lal Shabaz Qalandar in Sehwan. “I asked them, especially the team management, to visit Sehwan again and hold a talent-hunt camp,” he informed.

Mr Shah urged other PSL teams to hold hunt talent camps in the rural areas of Sindh. “I am sure our youth will not disappoint you and there are many Wasim Akrams, Shahid Afri dis and Javed Miandads waiting to be discovered,” he asserted.

Chairman PCB Ehsan Mani expressed his gratitude to the chief minister for his unflinching support and cooperation. “Had the chief minister not taken his personal interest in making arrangements for the PSL matches, the event would have not taken place in the city,” he revealed.

He assured Sindh chief minister that PCB teams would hunt talent in rural areas of Sindh.

On the occasion, gifts were given to all players, including 38 foreigners.