ISLAMABAD   -   MNA Ali Nawaz Awan has said that Pakistan Parliamentarians are eager to excel in 1st Inter-parliamentarians Cricket World Cup, to be held in July 2019 in England.

Talking to The Nation, Ali Nawaz Awan said: “It will be a great occasion when Commonwealth countries parliamentarians’ cricket teams will be in action. The way Asad Qiaser is taking keen interest in every activity of parliamentarian team is highly commendable. He daily has long discussions with players and coaches and despite having less knowledge of cricket, he wears pads and starts to practicing with players. It shows his passion and love for cricket.”

Ali Awan said: “Off course India has big names like Tendulkar, Azaharuddin, Sidhu, Chohan and others, while if we look at our options, we don’t have a single big name. We have some hard-hitting individuals, who can single-handedly help Pakistan parliamentarians’ team to win the inaugural mega cricketing event.

“We are spending hours and hours in training and here we are not ministers, member parliaments or dignitaries, we are part of a team, which is eager to win the title. We are paying full attention towards what is being guided to us by coaches. I have played lot of cricket and table tennis. It’s being long, but after proper net, I can feel the difference in my fitness levels. Our main area of concern is fitness and after that fielding and catching. If we manage to overcome it, we are bound to excel.”

He said: “As far as our preparations are concerned, we are brimming with confidence with each passing night. We are working, sweating and want to do something exceptional. The most wonderful thing is that all the members of provincial assemblies, national assembly and Senate are coming in huge numbers to give trials for selection in the team. We all know that our Prime Minister has won the World Cup for Pakistan, so it is added responsibility on our shoulders.

“I and few others had played regular cricket, while some of us had even played first class cricket and international counties. So it doesn’t matter that we don’t have the likes of Tendulkar and Azharuddin. Such is our confidence that every member of our team wants to face India. Tendulkar’s inclusion in Indian team has brought that extra motivation for us. I know there is still more than a month left so we have to focus on our fielding, catching and field placement. Zain Qureshi is a quick learner and I am sure by the time of our departure, we will be in supreme shape and hungry to deliver for the country,” he added.

Ali Awan said: “We need to depart England at least one week earlier, if not two weeks or 10 days prior to start of the tournament. The reason is very simple as we have to adapt to the conditions and also give our members chance to settle down. We have left all the fights behind and in ground, we are like brothers and share everything. It proves that democracy is strengthening.

“We lack fitness, but we have passion and determination, which will overcome our minor flaws. We have hard hitters and I can assure all that we will beat India through better planning. We have plan against all the opponents, and if it works well, no one can stop us from winning the title. We will plead Pakistan’s case at this forum and make sure to convince counterparts of England, Australia and India to tour Pakistan.

“I hope the team will be selected purely on merit and I can see we have gathered some top class players and they are going to help Pakistani parliamentarians’ team in the mega event. I request the entire nation to pray for our success as we are eager to win the title,” Ali Awan concluded.