At least one foreign cricketer who played the Pakistan Super League final in Lahore has been completely won over by the experience.
In a video message posted on Twitter hours after the army chief met the PSL champions on Saturday, Peshawar Zalmi star Marlon Samuels said he was “Pakistani at heart” and went as far ‘wishing’ to join the Pakistan Army.
“For me it’s more than just coming to Pakistan to a play a game of cricket, it is the significance and success of the team and smiles on the faces of the people that are sad,” he said in the video, tweeted by Zalmi CEO Javed Afridi. “I am a Pakistani at heart and that it is why it didn’t take me long to decide to come to Pakistan [to play the PSL final],” he added.
Addressing the Pakistani army chief directly in a tongue-in-cheek remark, Samuels said, “General, I’m just waiting for the metals [badges ] on my shoulder, I would want to be a part of the Pakistan Army.”
The West Indies batsman praised the security provided to him and all other players in Lahore. He said the arrangements were ‘top class’ and everything was taken care of. He also thanked his Zalmi teammates, saying that it was an honour and that he couldn’t have asked for a better team.
“Cricket should definitely come back to Pakistan… I will continue to come back to this country till I die,” Samuels added.
Responding to the video message, Zalmi CEO Afridi saluted Samuels for his ‘marvellous words’. “Your golden words are a message for the world that we are a peace loving nation and we love cricket,” he said. “You are the champions of the hearts.”