T20 World Cup 2024: Pakistan Cricket Team under new ‘paid dinner’ controversy

Pakistan Cricket Team, T20 World Cup 2024, Rashid Latif

Just days before their opening match in the T20 World Cup 2024, the Pakistan cricket team finds itself in a new controversy. This time, the issue revolves around a “meet and greet” event held in New York with Pakistani players, which reportedly had an entry fee of $25.

This news has not gone down well with former Pakistani captain Rashid Latif, who strongly criticized the team and management for organizing such an event. In a show hosted by Kamran Muzaffer, Latif blasted the move, calling it “terrible” and questioning the propriety of charging fans for such an interaction.

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“There are official dinners,” Latif said, “but this is a private dinner. Who can do this? It’s terrible. That means you met our players for 25 dollars. God forbid, had there been a mess, people would have said boys are earning money.”

Latif further went on to express his concern that this might create a perception that Pakistani players prioritize money over fan interaction.

“People tell me that whoever calls the Pakistan players, they just ask, ‘how much money will you give?’ This has become common. Things were different at our time, we had 2-3 dinners but they were official. But this is highlighted because it’s the World Cup. So the players should be careful. The amount of 25 dollars shouldn’t be blatantly used like this.”

He emphasized that while attending dinners is acceptable, it should be done without a commercial motive. Charitable events and fundraisers are a different story, but this specific event, according to Latif, exploits the names of Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket for personal gain.

“You attend 2-3 dinners, but without the commercial angle. You can go for charity dinners and fundraisers, but this is neither fundraising nor a charity dinner. This is a private function with the name of Pakistan and Pakistan cricket associated with it. Don’t make this mistake.”

The news report also mentions Nauman Niaz, a Pakistani television personality and cricket expert, who joined Latif in criticizing the event. However, the specific details of his critique are not included in the provided information.

It remains to be seen whether the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will issue a statement regarding this incident. The team’s performance in the upcoming World Cup might also influence how this controversy unfolds. A strong performance could potentially overshadow the issue, while a poor showing could lead to renewed criticism.