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Sunday Mar 12, 2017

West Indian cricketer Marlon Samuels pays tribute to Pakistan Army

KARACHI: They came to Pakistan, played the final of the Pakistan Super League, shared love with Pakistani people and won hearts of many fans in the country, and they continue to do so.

36-year old West Indian cricketer Marlon Samuels, on Saturday, released an emotional message for Pakistani fans in which he also thanked the Pakistan Army for providing security and the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa for honoring Peshawar Zalmi players.

“It’s a privilege and honor to be acknowledged by you,” Samuels said in the video message.

“I want to take this opportunity to say thank you Pakistan Army for the way they dealt with the things, security was top class, we couldn’t have ask for better security,” he added.

Samuels said that playing PSL final for Peshawar Zalmi in Lahore was more than just a cricket match for him, and hoped that it would open doors for more cricket in Pakistan.

“For me, it is more than just me coming to Pakistan and playing a cricket game. It’s the significance behind the team and success of the team, and smile at the face of people,” the all-rounder said.

"I have spent a lot of time with Pakistanis in Jamaica they all are my friends. So, I am Pakistani in my heart. So, it didn’t take much for me to decide to come to Pakistan,” he added.

The veteran of 71 Tests, 187 ODIs and 51 T20Is also requested the ICC to consider opening doors for international cricket in Pakistan.

“Cricket should definitely come back to Pakistan now and I will continue to promote this until I die,” he said.

“ICC, you need to look into cricket going back to Pakistan. Because there are so many Pakistanis waiting and would love to see a lot of cricketers in front of them,” said Samuels while addressing the cricket’s global governing body.

The Jamaican star said that he’s also a soldier in his home town and expressed his desire to be part of Pakistan Army.

“I wouldn’t mind coming back to Pakistan if I get a metallic badge at my shoulder because in Jamaica I am a soldier and that’s why I wore my Army suit to Pakistan. I am just waiting for the metallic, so whenever you’re ready to let me be a part of your army, I am ready. I am a soldier in Jamaica and I want to be a part of Pakistan Army,” he said while addressing Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Bajwa and raising his hand to salute him.

“And may this win, and cricket like the finals that came to Pakistan put a lot of smile and make the people happy. And I wish that more cricket comes to Pakistan. I will definitely come back to Pakistan,” Samuels said toward the end of the video message which has already won hearts of millions of fans all over the country.