Karachi:Pakistan sport minister Ejaz Hussain Jakhrani on Wednesday said he would ask the government to lodge a protest with the New Zealand foreign and sports ministry after the national cricket team was racially abused during the Napier Test.
Jakhrani told the media in Islamabad that he was very upset to read about the incident where the brother of a MPA and his friends got drunk and then shouted slogans of "Pakistani terrorists" at the players during the second day's play of the third Test in Napier.
"I am very disappointed at our players being abused like this and I will ask the government to lodge a protest with the New Zealand foreign ministry and sports ministry," Jakhrani said.
The minister said Pakistan was itself the target of terrorist attacks because it was supporting the international coalition and its war on terror. "Our players have gone to New Zealand to play cricket as ambassadors of peace. They don't deserve to be targeted with such slogans," he said.
Jakhrani, who recently replaced Pir Aftab Shah Jillani as minister of sports, pointed out the incident was a setback for the prestige and pride of Pakistani people.
"It is something that should not have happened and we will take up this matter with the New Zealand government," he maintained.
Jakhrani said he would also ask the Pakistan Cricket Board to take up the matter with the International Cricket Council as such incidents were unacceptable.
"Our players are ambassadors of peace and whatever the circumstances that led to the slogans against our players I think our team deserves an apology from the New Zealand government," he added.
The MPA's brother and his friends were denied drinks and were asked to leave the ground after the incident but Pakistan team manager Abdul Raquib has said that since the players didn't hear anything they would not lodge any protest with the New Zealand cricket officials nor the ICC.
The PCB has also said it can only take up the issue with the ICC if the team management sends a report to the PCB on the reported incident.
Jakhrani also made it clear that any sporting ties with India would only be possible with government clearance and permission.
"No body can decide by itself about sporting contacts with India as all sporting contacts with India are linked to having normal relations and peace with them.
"Jakhrani said he was not happy at the way Pakistani players were insulted in the Indian Premier League issue and felt the PCB had not handled the IPL issue properly," he added.