Karachi: The Pakistan World Cup squad today interacted with the surviving children of the Army Public School carnage in Peshawar and also with their parents who were affected by the terrorist attacks on December 16.
Soon after moving scenes were seen as the players shook hands with the injured children and embraced the parents, Pakistan captain, Misbah-ul-Haq said the courage of the children would serve as a motivating factor for the team to try to win the World Cup.
"It was a great feeling. The kids gave us tremendous courage and wished the best for us in the coming World Cup. The best part is that these kids have rejoined the school and their spirit is an encouraging sign for the players, which is to never give up, whatever you do. And with this motivation, we will try to win the World Cup," Misbah said.
Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad, Muhammad Irfan, Ahsan Adil also accompanied their captain, who visited the Combined Military Services hospital where the children are under treatment and met with the parents at the Corp Commanders Headquarters.
Terrorists stormed the Army Public School on Dec 16 killing atleast 135 school children while scores were injured.
Experienced all-rounder Shahid Afridi said he was inspired by the spirit and courage of the injured children.
"We are hugely motivated by these kids. I asked one kid how he survived after being shot in the chest and he replied that he is not weak-hearted," Afridi said.
"We want to show the same courage in the World Cup and win the event for our nation and for our people and kids like these," Afridi said.
"It is a life changing experience for me to visit this school and see these children back to the same place where the attack took place. They are the bravest people in the world," Shehzad told reporters.
The cricketers who are idolized in Pakistan where cricket is a passion were visibly moved when they visited the hospital to meet with the injured children.
Irfan told PTI that most of the children they had met with had only one request for the players.
"They just kept asking us to win the World Cup for them. These survivors and martyrs are going to be a big motivational factor for us to do well in the tournament," he said.
The players were accompanied by some Pakistan Cricket Board officials and the team manager, Naved Cheema who announced donation of 7.5 million on behalf of the board for the school.