Lahore [Pakistan], July 30 (ANI): Ahead of upcoming Test series against England, some notable Pakistani sportspersons have lent support to the men's team, wishing them luck.
England and Pakistan are slated to face three Tests and three T20Is. The first Test of the series will be played from August 5 at Manchester.
Jahangir Khan, the 10-time British Open and six-time World Open squash champion, said that the Pakistan side would perform to the best of their ability and return with positive results.
"I can imagine how difficult it must have been to prepare and remain focused during the Covid-19 pandemic. England series has always been tough and the absence of the supporters will add to the challenge. But, I am sure the team will play with a fighting spirit and return favourable results. I, along with fans, wish the team luck for this tour," Khan said in an official release issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Aisam-ul-Haq, the only Pakistan tennis player to reach Grand Slam finals in the doubles events in 2010 said that he is hopeful the Pakistan men's team will play with full passion in order to win.
"I am really excited for Pakistan's upcoming series against England. I wish our boys in green all the best. I hope they play with a lot of passion and make us all proud," Haq said.
Kiran Khan, an Olympic swimmer who also won seven gold medals in the 2001 National Games, said: "Making a comeback in the game and expecting the same performance is not guaranteed after Covid-19 from any player. This is the time, when the fans need to come forward to encourage the players. I wish our team the best and urge the fans to support the team."
Saddam Hussain, captain of the Pakistan men's national football team lauded the PCB for taking a brilliant initiative to send the men's team to play the series against England.
"This pandemic has affected people and sports badly. All sportsmen have to go through a difficult phase during this time. The Pakistan Cricket Board has taken a brilliant initiative to send the men's team to England. My best wishes are with the team and I hope they perform well in the series. I wish and pray that other sports activities will resume in the country soon," Hussain said. Syeda Mahpara, Pakistan women's national football team goalkeeper, said: "It is very difficult for any athlete to return to their 100 per cent right away after such a long gap. In this challenging time, I urge all cricket lovers to support our team so it boosts their morale. I wish all the best to the men in green."
Pakistan's squad for Test series against England: Azhar Ali (c), Babar Aazam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah.
In September 2019, Riaz had taken the indefinite break from the red-ball cricket to focus on the shortest format of the game. Now, he has returned to Pakistan's Test squad.
Meanwhile, the remaining nine players - Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, and Musa Khan - will continue to train with the squad for the T20I series, which will be played after the Test series. (ANI)