West Indies cricketer Sammy to receive Pakistan's honorary citizenship and highest civil award - GulfToday

West Indies cricketer Sammy to receive Pakistan's honorary citizenship and highest civil award


Darren Sammy with a cancer patient as ‘Child Cancer Day’ is being observed in the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi.

Pakistan is making former West Indies captain Darren Sammy an honorary citizen for his role in restoring international cricket to the country.

Pakistan will also give Sammy its highest civilian award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tweeted on Saturday.

“President of Pakistan Arif Alvi will confer the highest civilian award and honorary citizenship to Darren Sammy on March 23 for his invaluable contribution to cricket in Pakistan,” read a Twitter post by PCB.

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Sammy will be the first cricketer to receive the honour. The push to award an honorary citizenship to Sammy was led by Peshawar Zalmi franchise owner Javed Afridi.

“Sammy was the first player to say yes to visit Pakistan. He is the most loved and cheered foreign cricketer in Pakistan,” Afridi had earlier told the media.

Sammy-750x450Darren Sammy talks to mediapersons during a practice session at Qadhafi Cricket Stadium Lahore.

Sammy is seen as having played a major role as a foreign player in helping the PCB bring international cricket back to Pakistan, following an attack by gunmen on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

Sammy has been leading Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League since the domestic Twenty20 tournament began in 2016.

Peshawar won the second edition of the PSL in Lahore in 2017. Sammy is currently leading Peshawar in the fifth edition of the PSL. The tournament is being played in its entirety for the first time in Pakistan.

Javed Afridi had earlier requested PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani to request the president to consider an honorary citizenship for Sammy.

He said after the announcement that Sammy’s love for Pakistan was unconditional and the step will encourage other players.

SAmmyPSLSpectators carry a poster featuring Darren Sammy outside the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Friday. AFP

“When Sammy was supporting Pakistan cricket, he didn’t do this for obtaining citizenship. This is our recognition for his services,” he had said. “This will encourage everyone who’s here to support Pakistan cricket.”

The Windies player said whatever he did for Pakistan was for the love of the people of this country, not for any personal gains.

“My love for Pakistan is natural, my contribution to this country is pure. I don’t need a passport to show my love for this country.

All the players who have supported this step have contributed to where we are today. It is good that it has been recognised, but I didn’t do it for myself it is for my affection with the people and for the love I get from here,” Sammy said.


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