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Friday Feb 17, 2017

Pakistan’s 'Messi' says PSL unifying country

SHARJAH: Cricket is considered to be the only unifying factor in Pakistan, and rightly so. The Pakistan Super League has gathered people from different ethnicities, background and professions under one roof, cheering for the game, everyone love.

Various teams have invited different brand ambassadors to UAE during the PSL, some have invited renowned journalists, while some got faces of showbiz industry in their box to cheer for the team. Quetta Gladiators have got athletes from different sports to the camp, and captain Pakistan Football team Kaleemullah is one of them.

Kaleem, who hails from Balochistan, is also – like every second Pakistani – a great cricket fan, and like many plays cricket whenever he gets time off from football activities.

Talking exclusively to on sidelines of Quetta Gladiators versus Peshawar Zalmi match in Sharjah on Friday, Kaleem said that Pakistan Super League is a great opportunity for the country to promote sports.

“I am thankful to Quetta that they have invited me here, this will give a good message to people linked with football in Pakistan,” said Kaleem, who has played 24 internationals for Pakistan.

“Other franchises should take athletes from other sports on board as well. This will help us in promoting Pakistan sports,” said 24-year-old Kaleem.

Kaleem was aware of the fact that Pakistani cricketers love to play football and the game has now become an integral part of their training sessions.

On Friday, according to Kaleem, Pakistani stars playing for Quetta came to him and sought football tips.

“Umar Amin, Asad Shafiq and Umar Gul were interested in getting football tips, I told them how to dribble and other basic tips. They, in return, offered me cricket tips,” he said.

“I do play cricket whenever I get time, when I am in the USA for league matches and get off from the game, I start playing cricket with the Pakistani community. But, I only know how to hit fours and sixes, I don’t know how to block, that’s Misbah’s art,” said Kaleem, while expressing his interest in cricket.

 Kaleem, who is also known as Pakistan’s Messi, said that people of Balochistan are looking up to Gladiators and everyone is praying for their success.

“I am very hopeful that Quetta will lift the trophy by winning the final this year,” he said.

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