CHAKWAL - International Cricket Council (ICC) president Zaheer Abbas has lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for starting its own T20 league ‘Pakistan Superb League’ and termed it a very positive step taken by the board.

Cut the ribbon of the ground breaking ceremony of cricket stadium at Darbar Bangali Shrarif near Chakwal, Zaheer, while talking to The Nation, said: “The PSL is a very great and positive step taken by the PCB and it will not only provide financial boost to Pakistani players but also make them technically strong in their skills, as they will get chances to play alongside top international cricketers.” “It could have been icing on the cake, had the PSL played in Pakistan, but it would definitely be a big hit. Pakistanis are in bulk in Qatar and other nationals of Asia also reside in that part of the world, and I hope they will come in numbers and make PSL a huge success,” he added.

Pir Syed Makhdoom Abbas Shah has donated huge piece of land where the international standard cricket stadium would be constructed, while he also inaugurated the Fatima Jinnah vocational center building, which was long being closed. Zaheer spared time from his very busy schedule and reached Bangali Sharif on the special invitation of Pir Syed Makhdoom Abbas Shah on a very short notice while Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) president Mohsin Ali was especially invited by Zaheer Abbas and Pir Syed Makhdoom Abbas Shah.

Lauding the services of Pir Abbas, Zaheer said: “Pir Makhdoom Abbas has done a tremendous service to cricket and it will be a land mark stadium and will not only help youth of the area play cricket under highly conducive environment, but also help a great deal to PCB and country in finding and grooming fresh talent from here.”

The ICC president said: “It is very important that cricket should be played at each and every part of the country. No matter international teams are coming or not to play in Pakistan, being ICC president I am the head of 120 cricket playing nations and representative of each and every nation. I can’t especially talk about Pakistan and can’t comment on Pakistan-India bilateral series, but one should remember, I had played against India after almost 18 years of wait. I feel Pak-India cricket could resume in a matter of time and people of both sides of the border love to watch their favorite players in action.”

He added: “Pakistan possesses immense amount of talent. If groomed well and provided facilities and opportunities, they are capable of wondering the world with their match-winning performances.”

When asked whether he could play any kind of role in helping Pakistan revive international cricket, he replied: “My role doesn’t permit me to do so. As a Pakistani, I would love to see cricket flourish in the country, but as the ICC president, I am duty-bound to safeguard the rights of all the member countries.”

Syed Makhdoom Abbas Shah said: “I had tried to construct another ground at a nearby place request the locals to allocate land. We are ready to purchase, but they don’t understand the importance of playing grounds, when our grounds are filled with youth, hospitals will get emptied. We need to provide our youth healthy platform. If the PCB is reluctant to construct the state-of-the-art stadium at our land, we are ready to construct it with our own resources. He also thanked RISJA president for associations’ highly positive role in highlighting local sports. The RSIJA president assured people and Syed Makhdoom Abbas Shah of his all-out support and help.