LAHORE - International Cricket Council (ICC) president Zaheer Abbas has lauded the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister M Shahbaz Sharif saying establishing new cricket grounds will certainly help in promoting the game.

Zaheer said this during a meeting with Punjab chief minister here on Saturday. “Steps taken by Shahbaz Sharif for the establishment of cricket grounds are commendable and with this imitative, new cricket talent will come forward.” The ICC president also assured his all-out cooperation to Punjab government for the promotion of cricket.

Sharing his views, Shahbaz Sharif said: “Cricket is the most popular game in the country which has immense talent of cricket. There is a dire need of coordinated steps to polish this talent so that Pakistan could again achieve a prominent place in the cricket world.”

The Punjab CM said that Punjab government had started a programme to establish cricket grounds. “Initially, the work has been started on eight cricket grounds whereas more cricket grounds will be established in every district under a phased programme and this step will help in improving cricket as well as hunting fresh talent.”

The CM said that Pakistani cricketers had won laurels for the country on several occasions. “Pragmatic steps should be continued for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan and Punjab government is ready to extend all-out cooperation in this regard.”

Shahbaz said a comprehensive programme was being implemented for the promotion of cricket and other sports. “Sports promote discipline in the society and ease tension. A game should be treated as a game and sportsmanship is the real spirit behind all games including cricket.”