Lahore: Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq and captain Waqar Younis on Saturday said they were shocked to learn about England's Test and One-day cricket star and their Surrey county teammate Ben Hollioake's tragic death in Perth, Australia.
"It's a personal loss of a friend because for the last five years I have been so close to Ben," Saqlain told reporters. "I am shocked and it's hard to believe he would no more be there when I go to play for Surrey in a month's time." All Pakistan players, currently in a training camp for Sharjah tri-series next month, learned of the news at the stadium and showed grief. "He would call me in the evening and we would go out for a dinner and he would always drive the car," Saqlain, who is playing for Surrey since 1997, said. "The Hollioake brothers and I would go to matches in the same car," Saqlain said, referring to Hollioake's brother Adam, also a cricketer. "Just five days ago I had a dinner with Ben and his girlfriend was with us in Perth," Pakistan's express pacer Shoaib Akhtar said. "The news has left me very very sad." Pakistan's captain said England has lost a future star. "I have seen his career progressed at Surrey, he was in colts when I used to play for the county and found him an exciting and energetic talent," Younis said. "England has lost a future star." Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said Ben was bright young man. "Ben was there in the Hong Kong Sixes event last year and like always gave me good company," Akram said. "He was a young boy who wanted to play cricket and enjoy life but sadly it was a very short life."
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