International Cricket Council arranged a star studded opening ceremony, ahead of World Cup on Wednesday at the Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace. The opening ceremony featured an interesting 60 seconds challenge in which two individuals from each of the participating teams were to face a number of bowlers to score as much runs as they could in this one minute. England won the challenge by scoring 74 runs while India took the tenth place on the scoreboard with only 19 runs. Pakistan secured seventh position by scoring 38 runs.
Pakistan was represented by former Captain Azhar Ali and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in the opening ceremony of World Cup. Malala, a brave girl of 21, was shot in head by terrorists in Swat area of Pakistan in 2012 for pursuing and promoting education in the tribal areas. She won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi, children’s rights activist from India in 2014. Now she is known world wide for championing female education and women’s sports.
Malala was proud to represent her country in the ceremony and enjoyed herself while taking on 60 seconds challenge. She was happy to see more women participating in the cricketing activities. She also mentioned Pakistan’s female cricketer, Sana Mir as an inspiration for all the women in this regard.
“In Pakistan, we have some amazing cricketers, including Sana Mir. These role models are inspiring women to believe in themselves that they are capable of anything. Women should engage more in sports and we all have to contribute to that and encourage women and girls,” Malala said.
While speaking to Pakistani Journalist, Zainab Abbas about her passion for cricket, the youngest Nobel Peace laureate said:
“Yes I follow cricket. It is my favourite sport. I grew up with cricket. In Pakistan, we play in our streets and rooftops.”
When asked to comment on the Pakistan’s position on the scoreboard, Malala hilariously trolled Indian team while showing satisfaction with Pakistan’s performance in 60 seconds challenge.
“Pakistan, we were okay, not too bad, came number 7 but India came last!” Malala was quoted as saying.
There was a huge laughter in the crowd on Malala’s remarks. She then went on to console Indians by saying, “But India played really well. They tried their best and we appreciate their hard work.”
Malala also posed for a photo with India’s representative, Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar at the ceremony.
Malala was all praises for Pakistan’s bowling and showed herself as the big fan of Pakistan’s incredible bowling attack. When asked about her favourite cricketer, she hesitated to name one and said she has a lot of them. “Hassan Ali, Shadab Khan, many more, many more,” Malala said.
Malala termed playing cricket as the best memory of her childhood as she used to play with her brother and cousins. Malala said that cricket has the ability to bring people from diversified territories and cultures together. Nobel Laureate wished luck to all the teams playing in the mega event. Pakistan will face West Indies in their opening match in World Cup 2019 tomorrow at Trent Bridge.