Pakistan vs. Australia Series: Haier Cup 2014
Title Sponsors: Haier Pakistan
Haier Pakistan, in a welcome move that has been widely lauded by one and all has announced financial benefits for cricketing greats of yesteryears. This was announced by Mr. Javed Afridi CEO of Haier Pakistan while speaking at PCB headquarters, Lahore during the unveiling of the logo for Pakistan’s home series against Australia. Mr. Afridi announced a purse of US $ 10,000 for three former cricketing greats, each a legend in his own right. Little master Hanif Mohammad, left arm spinner Nasimul Ghani and tear away pacer Ehteshamuddin will be presented with benefit purses during the current Pakistan-Australia series, entitled the Haier Cup 2014 now being contested in United Arab Emirates.
With this and other recent moves Haier Pakistan, most ably led by its young and exuberant CEO Javed Afridi, have signaled their intent to take a high profile role in sponsoring major international and domestic cricket series on the one hand, and on the other in taking certain planned initiatives for the development of the game at the district level in Pakistan.
Javed Afridi assured PCB of his Group’s continued support to Pakistan cricket at all levels of domestic and international cricket and the eagerly awaited Pakistan Super League. “Haier Pakistan”, he said “stands hand in hand with PCB, and will extend every support for the betterment of the game in the country”.
For Haier Pakistan the current series comes in the wake of other international cricket sponsorships involving Pakistan namely the “Zimbabwe Haier Cup” played in 2013 in Zimbabwe which included games in all the three formats – T20, One Dayers and Test Matches. This followed the earlier home series sponsorships for three international series - against Afghanistan (2012); and Australia and Sri Lanka in the 2012/13 season held in UAE.
On the domestic front Haier Pakistan was also the main sponsor for the recently concluded nation T20 championships 2014. These and other initiatives are increasingly making Haier Pakistan synonymous with the game of cricket at all levels in Pakistan.
Haier’s commitment and patronization of international and domestic cricket is rooted in the group’s own profound sense of civic responsibility; their desire to return something tangible and lasting to their clientele - people of Pakistan; and in the undoubted and repeatedly demonstrated love their CEO has for Pakistan Cricket. This also makes great business sense for a company that has risen to the top of the household appliances market in a short few years. Today Haier appliances are to be found in the homes of the people – the very same people for whom cricket is not just game but a true passion holding a deep fascination bordering on fanaticism for fans young and old, male or female across the length and breadth of the country. For them cricket stars and cricket captains past and present are the stuff of legend; their exploits on and off the field eagerly and readily followed, aped and scrutinized.
Javed Afridi speaks eloquently about Haier Pakistan’s continued commitment and active support for Cricket Pakistan. This is likely to cover:
a) Pakistan’s international series both home and away.
b) Domestic Championships
c) Development of the game at grassroots level
d) Financial support and benefit games for cricketing greats
Says Javed Afridi, “We would like to see cricket played at village level in Pakistan, even in North Waziristan eliminating differences and bringing people together in their common love for the game of cricket”. And he adds, albeit a little nostalgically, “This will hopefully send a positive message to the world and help in bringing international teams to Pakistan”.
Haier Pakistan’s commitment is enough to convince even the most diehard critics and doubters that given the love, the passion, the finances and the long term support for the game there are great things in store for Pakistan Cricket. In fact instead of looking deep into the far horizon, let us look to the near horizon for international cricket to come to Pakistan when our stadia will once again host top international teams to the cheers of millions of Pakistani cricket lovers.