ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif felicitated the national cricket team on Tuesday in an event held to award the cricketers for winning the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Addressing the participants of the gathering which included federal ministers, the national cricket team and other prominent personalities, Nawaz Sharif hailed the team for their stellar performance.
"You are the Prime Minister, not me," he said, gesturing towards the national team. "You are the real heroes of the nation," he added.
Nawaz said that he was thrilled at the performance of the national cricket team in the tournament and he had watched the whole match against India which Pakistan won by 180 runs to clinch the title.
The premier spoke about his passion for the sport of cricket, recalling that he would have trouble sleeping at times when it was time for important matches.
"When I used to play cricket, I was particularly annoyed at bowlers who bowled bouncers at me," he said. "I always used to pull them for a boundary," he added.
Nawaz Sharif said that he was aware of the fact that there were less grounds in Pakistan and said that he would try to improve the situation in order to promote more cricketing talent in the country.
The Prime Minister further said that as a young man once he was kicked out of a cricket ground. Forced to leave the ground, Nawaz Sharif said that he was extremely disappointed.
"It was really difficult for me to leave the ground," he said. "It felt extremely painful, even more painful than the Panama Leaks," he joked, as participants roared with laughter. "Even more difficult than the JIT."
During his speech Nawaz Sharif spoke highly of his performance after taking over the reins of the country in 2013.
"It looked like Pakistan would default in a matter of six months," he said. "However, thanks to the grace of God, we were able to pull the country out of darkness and put it on to the path of development," he added.