Karachi [Pakistan], Oct. 29 : Pakistan Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has come in defence of the celebratory press-ups (or push-ups) which his teammates have been performing after high-profile successes, saying it was merely a "tribute to the Pakistan Army trainers" with whom the squad had attended a fitness camp prior to England tour.
Press-ups or push-ups created a buzz and started becoming a unique way for Pakistan's cricket team to celebrate following a Test against England in July when Misbah himself first dropped to the ground to flex his muscles.
However, Rana Afzal, a member of National Assembly Committee, had earlier raised questions during a meeting of the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee as to why players remain silent over defeat and do push-ups on victory.
"Who were Misbah-ul-Haq and other players giving a message to by doing push-ups?" questioned Afzal before asking players to perform nafl prayers or sajdas rather than push-ups.
However, the Pakistan Test skipper hit back at the criticism and said, "It should not have happened." "I think our message was clear that it's not any disrespect to the opponents or to show anything else.
It's a gesture to people we worked with (Army trainers) and a promise that we will give tribute to them," Misbah was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
Misbah made the press-ups a trademark Pakistan style of celebration after scoring a hundred in the Lord's Test against England in July.
The entire team then performed press-ups after winning that Test. Earlier, PCB Executive Committee Chairman Najam Sethi had clarified that there is no ban on performing celebratory press-ups just a few hours after assuring the National Assembly Committee that the Pakistan cricket team had been barred from performing push-ups as a part of their celebration after winning matches.
Backtracking on his words, Sethi further insisted that the players should in fact do 100 pushups when they strike a century.
"Oh for God's sake, there is no ban on pushups! In fact, I think, players should do 100 pushups when they score a century!! ," Sethi said on his micro blogging website Twitter.
Sethi further went on to ask the media to stop politicising the country's national cricket team before appreciating the Pakistan Army for providing fitness training facilities to the PCB.
"Sajda/pushups etc done @ discretion of players. PCB highly appreciates fitness training facilities of PakArmy, utilised thrice in 6 yrs," he tweeted. The celebratory press ups became an instant hit as Lord's groundsmen, a television commentator and hundreds of fans in Pakistan copied it.
Opener Azhar Ali also did the celebratory push-ups on scoring a triple-hundred in the Dubai Test of the ongoing series against West Indies.