Pakistani team arrived India and they got an overwhelming reception, Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik said they never had any security concern in India.
On saturday the team arrived in Kolkata after a delayed decision of their government on security concerns in India. Finally they are in India after the approval from Pak government.
Pakistan’s match with India is on March 19 and it was to be played in Dharamsala, but after the Chief minister of Himachal Pradesh told about the security cover which might be inadequate as protests of ex-servicemen was on the line, the match got shifted to Kolkata.
Both Malik and Afridi told media that they never felt any security concern now and before this time.
“I’ve not enjoyed playing anywhere as much as I have in India. I am in the last stage of my career and I can say that the love I have got in India is something that I will always remember. We have not got this much love even from Pakistan,” Afridi said.
“There are cricket-loving people here, much like in Pakistan. Overall, I’ve enjoyed a lot playing in India in my cricketing career,” he added.
Similarly Malik, who is married to Sania Mirza from India, the Indian Tennis star said he has always felt honoured to be in India.
“Firstly I would like to thank the Indian Government. The security is very good. My wife is from India and I come to India a lot. I have never faced any security issue,” Malik said.
“I don’t really see any difference between Pakistani people and the Indians. We eat the same food, we speak the same language. I don’t really see any difference. I am very happy to be in India. I have always got a lot of love from people and from media. I’m honoured to be in India,” he added.
After being asked about the Pakistani government delaying the clearance for security, Afridi said, he would not speak on politics.
“Whatever decision the state takes, we are behind them. We are cricketers and not politicians. Sport always brings two nations together. Can there be anything better than cricket? I think we should keep politics away from it,” Afridi said.
Afridi also commented on the distraction of this drama by saying “I think it’s nothing special. We were practising over there. We think about that. Physically and mentally we were ready that we will go definitely.”
“International cricket is all about pressure. The team which handles pressure well wins in the end.”