February 14, 2003

Pakistan team makes more friends

KIMBERLEY (South Africa), Feb 14: The Pakistan cricket team continued to make friends on their tour of South Africa when they made a surprise visit to the Kimberley Hospital on Thursday morning.

The cricketers, dressed in travel kits, visited the entire hospital and interacted with the patients, particularly with the children in paediatrics ward. Only those present at the scene can explain the delight and happiness that was visible on the faces of the sick children when they found the star cricketers next to them.

The local media gave prominent coverage to the visit with one newspaper publishing a front-page four-column picture of skipper Waqar Younis bending over one of the cots and chatting with a 5-year-old boy.

The Pakistan players distributed their green caps and toys to the children in the paediatric section and also promised to donate a television and video player.

"This is from the boys' hearts and not from the administrators. We will donate to the childrens ward a whole lot of toys, a television set and a video machine, but there is going to be a very humble donation the boys will make towards the hospital and further gifts will be conveyed to you soon," team manager Shaharyar Khan said at the paediatrics section.

"For you to come to Kimberley Hospital is a very great honour, as we have doctors here who make it possible for us to continue growing in stature and those doctors I am referring to are from Pakistan," chief executive of the hospital Dr Deon Madyo said.

Dr Hamid Shabbir said: "We want to thank the Pakistani team for the gesture they have shown by taking time off to spend time with us."

Shaharyar Khan, on behalf of the team, said the Pakistan team was a team of human beings with feelings. "I would like to say the boys were prepared and looking forward to interact with those who needed their support to recover."

Samiul Hasan
Media Manager
Pakistan Cricket Team
Mobile + 27 83 506 5828