RAWALPINDI - Former MNA Hanif Abbasi has said that all the arrangements have been finalised to conduct Pakistan A and Hamza Shahbaz Sharif XI fund-raising floodlight cricket match here at Pindi Cricket Stadium today (Friday).

Addressing a press conference here at Pindi Stadium on Thursday, Hanif Abbasi, flanked by MNA Malik Ibrar, MPA Raja Hanif, DCO Rawalpindi Sajid Zafar Dal, former MPAs Sardar Naseem, Zia Ullah Shah, PCB General Manager Shafiq Ahmed and DSO Abdul Waheed Babar, said: “We have already managed to generate a whopping Rs 20 million for the IDPs, who are patriotic Pakistanis and have made countless sacrifices for the country.”

“Although rain shower was witnessed, but ground staff had done a tremendous job and pitch is in perfect shape. It was properly covered with heavy ground covers and I along with others witnessed the ground and pitch. The ground staff assured me the match could be played on Thursday,” he added.

“All the politicians, well known traders, chambers and other dignitaries have set a very good example by buying tickets for their families and loved ones. No one would be allowed to enter ground without tickets. We have chalked out a comprehensive plan and security personnel have given clear instructions no one either their relatives or influential political or public figures will be given free entry. Their tickets will be checked properly first at the main entrance and then by the CDGL officials. If anyone was found without ticket, he would be responsible for the consequences and would be fined heavily,” Abbasi said.

“I am very grateful to the stars heroes of our cricket team, who, without thinking for a while, offered their services for this noble cause and that too without taking or demanding a single penny. I salute their gesture and hope this attitude would be followed in true letter and spirit by others and they would also shoulder their due share in this time of need,” he stated.

“All the MNAs, MPAs and ticket holders of PML-N have contributed around Rs 5 million for the IDPs. Tickets worth from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000 and Rs 500,000 were up for sale and we have managed to sale out all the available tickets. It will be a complete jam-packed stadium. We have also invited the families of our martyrs to honor our soldiers who had laid down their lives in the line of duty. Around 50 families of those martyrs will be in the stadium as chief guests.”

The match will be telecast live on national broadcaster and we are quite hopeful other private channels will also give due coverage to this noble mission. All the funds generated from the benefit match would be directly given to the IDPs as the entire expenses of the match are being shouldered by City District Government and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“We will ensure all the funds gathered would reach where it belong. I also requested Imran Khan to come forward and instead of wasting precious money on long march and other destructive things, join hands with the government in this hard time. I hope Imran will come and help just like others are contributing,” Abbasi concluded.