ISLAMABAD     -    Pakistan Disabled Cricket Association President and former Test cricketer, Rashid Latif said Thursday Pakistan Disable team are favourites to win five-nation series in England.

Addressing a press conference held in Karachi, Latif said India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and host England will face the challenge of beating champions Pakistan in the event. “The Pakistan Physical Disability cricket team are favourites to win the NatWest Physical Disability World Series in England under the leadership of Nahar Alam. Pakistan are defending their title which they won by defeating England in the Tri-Nations series final in 2018.

“Pakistan will once again enter the event with great expectations. We are extremely grateful to InterLoop Ltd, while the cooperation of Hilton Pharma Unicorn and the PCB is also highly important.”

The press conference was attended by GM Sales and Marketing Hilton Pharmahanicon Waqas Anjum, PCB official Wasim Bari, Honorary Secretary PDCA Amiruddin Ansari, Vice President PDCA, Vice President Dr Noman Paliker, Member Board of Directors Mohammad Sadiq Khatri, Mohammad Imran Khan, Corporate and Communication Manager High Nikon Sharq Yaqub.

Rashid paid tribute to former President and current generation PDCA and Disability Cricket Founder Salim Karim and said that he would like to congratulate him for his great services in introducing disable cricket under some difficult conditions: “I think Salim Karim took the challenge and undertook this project and the series with great determination. It is a great pleasure to work with these Pakistani cricketers.

The former captain said: “I went to Bangladesh with the national disabled team and it is not possible to describe in words what these disable cricketers have shown. Their spirit and hunger to do well in this sport is admirable. I hope PCB and ICC will take this disable cricket in their strides more and more,” hoped Latif.

The Pakistan team will leave for UK from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi on Tuesday July 31 at 11:00am. The national team will play its first match against host England on August 5. The final of the series will be played on August 14. The most awaited match will be between arch-rivals Pakistan and India, scheduled for August 9.

Title Sponsor Inter Loop Limited Chairman Mushtaq Zulkarnain said in his message that it is an honour for his organisation to be the sponsors of Pakistan Physical Disability cricket team. “We are serving to promote sports and sponsor teams globally,” he said. “The manner in which the Physical Disability Cricket Team of Pakistan has raised the nation’s pride in the world by highlighting its outstanding name in the world, must be appreciated.”

Amiruddin Ansari, Secretary of Pakistan Disability Cricket Association, thanked the Inter Coalition Limited, High Nikon, Sindh Government and especially Pakistan Cricket Board for their cooperation. “It is not possible to have any event without their support and I am delighted that more sponsors have stepped up to promote Disable Cricket.”  Former test captain Wasim Bari said: “I call them special cricketers instead of a disabled one. It is commendable that these sponsors come forward and help this type of cricket while they have the full support of PCB.

Squad: Nahar Alam (captain), Jaha Najib Toana (vice captain), Hasanin Alam, Qureshi, Zubair Saleem, Abdullah Aujaz, Wajid Alam, Mohammad Shahbaz, Hamad Shaukat, Waqif Shah, Malik Shaf, Mohammad Harris, Saifullah ( Wicketkeeper), Farhan Saeed, Hamza Hameed, Majid Hussain.