Misbah demands more from the world for Pakistan cricket revival

Pakistan's head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to reporters in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. Misbah said Sri Lanka's top players should have come for the limited-overs series in Pakistan after being assured of head-of-state-like security by the government. (AP Photo)
Updated 25 September 2019

Misbah demands more from the world for Pakistan cricket revival

  • Ten top Sri Lankan players pulled out of playing the series in Pakistan
  • Would be an injustice to deprive Pakistan of international cricket: Misbah

Karachi: Pakistan’s newly appointed head coach on Wednesday urged the cricket world to better help his country’s efforts to revive international matches, damaged by security problems in the last decade.
Misbah-ul-Haq’s request comes two days before Pakistan takes on Sri Lanka in a series of three one-day internationals, the first in the country for four years, and as many Twenty20 internationals.
The Sri Lanka team was attacked in Lahore in 2009 and since then most international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country, leaving Pakistan to play nearly all their “home” games in the United Arab Emirates.
Zimbabwe was the first country to return in 2015, with Pakistan hosting the West Indies, Sri Lanka, and a World XI team since then.
The current series was hit by withdrawals of ten top Sri Lankan players over security fears but Sri Lanka’s cricket board received the all-clear from the defense ministry last week.
“Cricket world need to do more, not only for Pakistan but for any country where it is hit,” said Misbah, under who Pakistan plays the first one-day international on Friday.
The remaining two matches will also be held in Karachi on Sunday and Wednesday.
The three Twenty20 internationals will be in Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9.
Misbah never captained any of his 56 Tests in Pakistan and he praised Sri Lanka — who arrived under heavy security — for the tour.
“I know it would have been a tough decision for Sri Lanka to tour,” he said.
“Pakistan is a cricket-loving country and it would be an injustice to deprive them of international cricket, so I hope that the world will support us more and more.”
It had been ten years since the attacks, Misbah said, adding he hoped more international teams would consider touring his nation and others like Pakistan.
“Otherwise the survival of cricket will be difficult.”
Misbah said his team — the majority of who will be playing a one-day international at home for the first time — were excited about the match.
Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, and Wahab Riaz have featured in an ODI in Pakistan before.
“It’s a special moment for all of us and players are excited as well as emotional, playing before their home fans and at home ground, so it’s really special.”


Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.