Pakistan’s top cricket players, current and former, have come out in support of Islamic Relief’s flood aid response. Speaking at a press conference in Karachi, Shahid Afridi, Moin Khan, Jalaluddin and Salahuddin Ahmed pledged to help raise funds for flood survivors.
Former captain Younus Khan, and retired cricketer Salahuddin Ahmed, joined Islamic Relief staff in a distribution of aid in Charsadda, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Friday 20th August. They distributed plastic sheeting, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, blankets, water cans and water coolers to displaced flood survivors.
“Younus Khan spent over an hour unloading relief goods from a truck, in intense heat, without taking a break,” said Mohammed Afsar, Islamic Relief aid worker. “He also took time to speak to flood survivors. Younus speaks the local language, Pushto, and he simply listened to people talk of their struggles and gave reassurance that they had not been forgotten in their time of need.”
The sportsmen are held in great affection by the Pakistani public and wanted to capitalise on their celebrity status by encouraging people to support relief efforts. The cricketers plan to join Islamic Relief’s fundraising events in Pakistan and abroad, and take part in ongoing aid distributions.
Pakistan’s national cricket team have also announced that they will be donating part of their match fees to flood survivors. Players and officials on the team pledged to donate half of their bonuses, totalling £35,000, after they beat England in the third Test last week.
Collections will also be taking place at the England vs. Pakistan cricket matches to be held in Wales, UK on 5th and 7th of September. Islamic Relief will have a marquee on the grounds of the Glamorgan Cricket Club, which has pledged 10% of future ticket sales to the flood appeal.