Pakistan cricketers visit earthquake victims

Published: Sunday, October 30, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Islamabad:Pakistan's cricket team visited earthquake victims in two hospitals and said they would donate their match fee from one of the upcoming Tests against England to help rebuild houses in the affected areas.

Team captain Inzamam-ul Haq, coach Bob Woolmer and 13 other players visited Rawalpindi General Hospital and PIMS (Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences) for more than two hours. Express pacer Shoaib Akhtar did not make it as he was not well.

"This is our mission to bring smiles back on affected people especially children," Inzamam said on Sunday.

"Our heart goes out for the victims and it's painful to read the death toll and see the injured after such a massive devastation," said Inzamam after meeting victims of the earthquake, which left 54,000 people dead and made more than three million homeless.

The players spent half an hour with month-old baby boy Ahmad Akhtar, who had both his legs fractured in the killer quake on October 8.

The baby was just a week old when the quake demolished his home in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir which bore the brunt of the disaster. He had also met some of the England team who visited the hospital on Friday.

Six-year-old Waseem Yousuf, who lost all the fingers on his right hand, was excited to meet the Pakistan players.

"I love (Shahid) Afridi and am delighted to meet him," he said.

The Pakistan team also announced they would donate part of their match fee for one year.

"All the players will donate their full match fee from Multan Test (around 1.5 million rupees or 25,000 dollars), and will continue to donate five percent of the match fee for one year," said Inzamam.

Pakistan meet England in the first of three Tests at Multan starting from November 12.

"We are also donating all the expenses on building 100 houses in affected areas," said Inzamam.

Inzamam said his team would visit the now razed town of Balakot in North West Frontier Province as soon as they had time.

"We want to visit the affected areas also and our first visit will be to Balakot," said the Pakistan captain.

He also urged people to come in large numbers and make donations during a Twenty20 cricket match to be played between Pakistan and a Rest of Pakistan XI in Lahore later Sunday.

Inzamam said equipment and kit used by Pakistan cricketers would be auctioned during the match to raise funds for quake victims.

"If someone wants to buy Afridi's bat with which he scored the fastest hundred and other precious memorabilia they must come to the match," he said.

The England players will also take part in a fund-raising golf match in Lahore on December 4. They are expected to announce donations for quake victims after the first one-day international in Lahore on December 10.

English cricketers captain Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick, Ashley Giles and Mathew Hoggard also visited PIMS hospital to express sympathy with the victims of the quake on Friday.

Pakistan Cricket Board, which has donated 50 million rupees (833,33 dollars) to the quake relief fund, has already announced that the entire gate money from the first limited overs match would be given to the government's relief fund.

Write Comments