The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Zimbabwe a non-issue: Pakistan

Johannesburg: Even as the brouhaha continues over Zimbabwe’s status as one of the host nations for the World Cup, Pakistan on Monday dismissed the controversy as a non-issue.

The Pakistan team, which was among the first to arrive here on Saturday, denied being concerned about security in Zimbabwe.

“We played in Zimbabwe a month ago and everything seemed normal. The team went out at night and we never felt threatened,” said the Pakistan team manager Shahryar Khan.

He said the team did not even talk about Zimbabwe.

“We don’t believe in mixing cricket and politics. Zimbabwe is not an issue and neither is politics.”

Earlier, on its arrival, the Pakistan team did not have a smooth reception with senior member Wasim Akram expressing his displeasure at the unnecessary delay at the airport.

The veteran bowler was upset because the Pakistanis had to wait in the arrival hall for quite some time while their baggage was being handled and excited supporters swamped them for autographs and photos.

“We can’t sit here and wait, we have to keep moving,” the former captain fumed as he sat on a bench, looking around uneasily.

Akram, finally slung his baggage over his shoulder and ordered the rest of the team to leave immediately. (PTI)

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