ISLAMABAD - Pakistan cricket team along with captain Sarfraz Ahmed, head coach Mickey Arthur, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and Zakir Khan met with Prime Minister Imran Khan at his residence in Bani Gala on Thursday.

The reliable sources present on the occasion told The Nation that during an hour meeting, which started exactly at 12:00pm continued till 1:00pm, the Prime Minister was in a very light mood and appreciated the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmed and also gave tips to fast bowler Muhammad Aamir.

The PM also advised Aamir to keep himself fully fit as after 30 years, body shape changes and one has to keep himself mentally and physically fit. He told Aamir that he is under bad patch and he should try to overcome it as quickly as possible.

On a reques t of head coach Mickey Arthur to share how he won the 1992 World Cup, the PM said: “It all depends upon what you think and how you make plans. Enter the match with strong strategy while the players’ mental level should be perfect and they must be mentally and physically very fit. Complete homework should be done on opponents’ positives and negatives and the team must enter without fear.

“I can assure you that victory is yours if work on it. You must know each and every player’s strength, organise your batting and leave the rest. Don’t take undue pressure and don’t give too much respect to any given player,” he added.

The sources said that Imran Khan told Sarfraz not to fear anything and play without taking pressure. “You mustn’t be afraid of any opponent or player. If fear factor overcomes you, you won’t be able to achieve victory. He told Sarfraz that you must be aware about your team’s strengths and weaknesses. He revealed that Shaheen Shah Afridi is a product of PTI talent Hunt Programme, which was started in 2016 in Islamabad.”

The PM bucked up the team and hoped that the players will deliver for the team and country. He assured the entire team management of the nation’s support, saying the prayers of entire nation are with them. It is a huge honour to represent the country in the world and you are true ambassadors of the country. The entire nation is looking at you in hope and belief that you will carry forward nation’s hopes and play like Tigers. No matter win or lose, if you play according to your potential and give your 100 percent, the victory is surely yours,” the sources added.

The sources further disclosed that the PM told the team members that show sportsman spirit, as cricket is a gentlemen’s game. Try to win the hearts and minds of the teams and countries through your behaviour and positivity. The desired results can be achieved through team work and winning mentality.

“I have pool of young and old players. When I went to Australia for 1992 World Cup, I was aware of my team’s positives and negatives. I managed to get best out of each and every player. The key to success is how to motivate your players and never let them feel down. No matter, who is the opponent and always focus on your plans to get better outcome,” the sources added.

The sources said that the PM had chit chat with different players including Muhammad Hafeez. All the top officials were present on the occasion, excluding PCB Chairman and MD, while sources confirmed that the PM had called Ehsan Mani on Monday to stay in Islamabad for two days. There would be very important meeting and major decisions are likely to be taken during the proposed meeting.

The sources said that Pak-India World Cup encounter was also discussed and Imran told Sarfraz to forget about past records as every match is new and like Champions Trophy 2017, when Pakistan was hammered in the pool stage, how they made a strong comeback and outclassed powerful India, so they must enter the mega event with same positivity and strong belief to excel and help the country win laurels at international level,” the sources concluded.