Pakistan cricket team’s meeting with Zardari cancelled

January 26th, 2009 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir BhuttoKarachi, Jan 26 (IANS) Pakistan’s cricket team members were told after their embarrassing 234-run defeat against Sri Lanka in Lahore that their meeting with President Asif Zardari scheduled for Monday has been called off.According to sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the President House told the board not to send the national cricketers for the prize distribution ceremony of a domestic tournament to be held Monday evening with Zardari as the chief guest. The ceremony is to take place at the President House in Islamabad.

Sources told IANS that the Pakistan team was supposed to meet Zardari, PCB’s patron-in-chief, on the sidelines of Benazir Bhutto Memorial Twenty20 tournament’s prize distribution ceremony.

However, after Saturday night’s crushing defeat against Sri Lanka in the ODI series final, the President House asked the board not to send the cricketers for the meeting with Zardari.

Meanwhile, sources in the sports ministry told IANS that the top government officials are really displeased with Pakistan’s performance against Sri Lanka and have asked the board to take concrete measures to bring an improvement in the team’s performance.

Sources said that Zardari is not the only one irked by Pakistan’s pathetic showing in the recently-concluded series.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also has taken serious notice of the disastrous performance in the series decider. Gilani, who was the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony held after the series final, could not see a single ball being bowled in the match because it was already over when the PM reached the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Gilani was to witness the final 10-15 overs of the match, but Pakistan, who were chasing Sri Lanka’s 309, were bowled out for a paltry 75. The premier only arrived at the venue when the match was already over.

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