Dec 212017

Pakistani cricketers are 'safe and happy' in Uganda despite reports claiming the cricketers are stranded, spin maestro Saeed Ajmal said in a video message shared with DawnNews.

Ajmal is part of a Pakistani contingent currently in the East African nation, where a Twenty20 league they were supposed to participate in was cancelled just a few matches into the tournament over a financial disagreement.

The cricketers, who include a mix of ex-internationals and active domestic players, including pacer Imran Khan and batsman Yasir Hameed, were promised half their pay in advance of the tournament.

But as the promise was not upheld even after several matches had taken place, the Pakistani cricketers refused to play any further, following which, the sponsors pulled out of the tournament, leading to the event's cancellation.

The problem arose when the cricketers on Wednesday attempted to board their return flights, only to be informed that their tickets — issued by the league's agents — had been blocked.

Despite the misfortune, Ajmal, confirmed to DawnNews that they are not at all stranded in Uganda and have money to spend as well as the support of the Uganda Cricket Association.

"We are all safe and happy. Chilling in East Africa," he tweeted along with a picture of the entire group, which seemed to be in great spirits.

The recently retired cricketer said that all cricketers were comfortable in their hotel rooms and expected to return to Pakistan on Thursday.

Ajmal was hopeful that the cricketers' dues would be cleared with the assistance of Uganda's local cricketing authorities and the International Cricket Council.

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