Tuesday Sep 20, 2022
KARACHI: British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner has said that he was waiting for England’s team tour to Pakistan since he arrived in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Geo.tv, on the sidelines of the first T20I between Pakistan and England at the National Stadium, the British high commissioner said that both countries have been through difficult times recently and hoped that cricket gives everyone a big lift.
“I couldn't be happier, 17 years. We've been waiting for three years of hard work. I said when I arrived in Pakistan three years ago, I wanted to bring them back. A lot of people have helped make that happen. Huge credit to the PCB for all their work and the ECB, both cricket boards have been fantastic. So, I really couldn't be happier for both countries today,” he said when asked about his excitement about this series.
“It's been a difficult few weeks for both countries. The proceeds from tonight's game will go for flood relief and the England team has donated as well. That's a big moment. For the UK we've lost our queen, her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I really hope tonight's game gives everyone a big lift,” Turner added.
Replying to a question, Turner said that cricket unites nations and the England team’s decision to donate to Pakistan flood relief sends a message of solidarity.
“It's the cricket that ties us together like so many things. We really are together at this point at a time that is difficult in Pakistan but also the UK,” he said.
Turner had expressed his despair when England had called off Pakistan’s tour last year. He said that his job was to bring all the people together who make such tours happen.
“The Pakistan Board, Ramiz Raja, and his team have done a great job to prepare for this. And indeed, the England board, adding on two extra matches. We now have seven T20s. It's a very hectic 10 days actually before the World Cup and then returning for the Test,” he highlighted
Talking about the cricketing aspect of Pakistan vs England series, the British high commissioner said that he is expecting exciting games.
“In a series like this, Pakistan could go or England could go several games up. It won't be over till that last match. It's going to be a fascinating contest. Both teams are deep. There're a few injuries on both sides. I think the pitches hold up. I'm quite interested to see what happens tonight when the spinners come on,” he said.
When asked who is he supporting, Tuner displayed his specially designed shirt which displayed England on one side and Pakistan on the other side.
“This is a good question. Let me show you. I have my England shirts, but just in case things go well for Pakistan. I'm a diplomat. So, I've covered either way,” he concluded.