Hoisting Pakistan flag while training nothing new for us - team management

The Pakistan team management says the ritual of hoisting the national flag while training is part of the coaching philosophy of interim head coach Saqlain Mushtaq.

Saqlain Mushtaq was appointed as the interim head coach of the Pakistan national team in September.   -  AP

The ritual of hoisting Pakistan’s flag during the national team’s training sessions was introduced by interim head coach Saqlain Mushtaq, the team management said on Thursday.

Pakistan’s decision to hoist its national flag in the Mirpur ground here on Tuesday during a practice session has created a huge controversy ahead of the three-match T20 series with many Bangladeshi fans taking the move as a political message ahead of the golden jubilee celebrations of the nation’s independence.

The media manager of the Pakistan team in Bangladesh has now issued a clarification.

‘Coaching philosophy’

“It is nothing new for us. It is part of the coaching philosophy of Saqlain Mushtaq since he joined the team. He feels by putting up the flag it serves as an inspiration and motivation for the players,” the media manager said during a media interaction held by Pakistani captain Babar Azam.

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The manager noted that the Pakistan flag had been used during training sessions regularly since Saqlain took charge. It was hoisted during the aborted home series against New Zealand and the T20 World Cup.

Babar pointed out that there was plenty of support for the Pakistan team in Bangladesh.

“They not only support their team but they also cheer us up. Whenever we have gone out for training the people cheer us when they see us in the bus. That is why it’s good that 50 per cent of spectators have been allowed for our T20 series,” he said.

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