December 25, 2016

Golden era of Pakistan snooker ends with Alamgir Shaikh’s tenure


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, having completed a couple of successful four-year tenures as the President of the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), will not taking part in the upcoming elections of the national body due to take place on December 28.

In accordance with the National Sports Policy, which restrains any official from retaining the same slot for more than eight years, Alamgir Shaikh has not filed nomination for the quadrennial elections. 

The PBSA, which is affiliated to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), has been hailed as one of the best performing sports federations of the country over the years, having produced positive results on a more consistent basis than any other sport, besides cricket. 

The game of snooker, it may be recalled, was revived in a big way in 1988 when Ali Asghar Valika took up its leadership and went from strength to strength. 

He not only changed the nomenclature of the governing body of cue sports from the Billiards Association of Pakistan (BAP), which was dormant for the preceding decades, to the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) but brought about a revolution which witnessed phenomenal growth for snooker in particular all over the country. 

In a matter of years, Pakistan came to be recognized as one of the major snooker nations, enabling it to be a preferential venue for global and continental events. 

Asghar Valika, whose administrative and organizational qualities earned him worldwide acclaim, quit the leadership of the PBSA in 2008, ironically to fulfill the obligations of the National Sports Policy. 

His successor, Alamgir Shaikh, having worked with him for a long time in his team, sustained the momentum and built a stronger platform for cue sports during the next eight years which witnessed more activities at national and international levels. 

Once again it’s the National Sports Policy, prompting another change of guard in the PBSA. The newly elected President, however, will be hard pressed to emulate the accomplishments of his last couple of predecessors, Asghar Valika and Alamgir Shaikh, both of whom are credited to have taken cue sports to very high level.

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December 5, 2016

Master stroke by Quetta Gladiators


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Quetta Gladiators, a Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise, has signed a sponsorship deal with a leading lubricants firm for the upcoming second edition of the tournament.

The signing ceremony in this regard was held with great fanfare at Movenpick Hotel, Karachi, on December 3 in the presence of the top management of the PSL franchise as well as some of their players and coach Moin Khan, who is also a former Pakistan captain. 

Nadeem Omar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, which owns Quetta Gladiators, expressed his delight at signing the sponsorship deal with Pakistan Lubricants, the manufacturers of Master Oil, for the PSL-2, to be held in February-March 2017. 

“We have made history of sorts today. This is the first-ever sponsorship deal being signed by Quetta Gladiators. Obviously it’s new beginning for us. These are still the early days for the PSL. Ours as well as the other four franchises stand a great chance of getting more sponsorship support in future because the PSL is here to stay and make waves,” he reckoned. 

He attributed the success of Quetta Gladiators, who finished runners-up in the inaugural edition of the PSL earlier this year, to the virtues of teamwork, making special mention of coach Moin Khan and manager Azam Khan.

“Some circles were not much impressed with the line-up we had chosen. But we had done it with purpose and conviction. We had trusted the abilities of our team and they proved their mettle. Obstacles did come in our way during the journey but we were able to overcome them with our spirit and commitment,” Nadeem Omar declared. 

He expressed great confidence in his emerging players, hoping that the likes of young gun Hassan Khan, a product of Inter-School cricket, will turn out to be the stars of future. 

On a personal note, Nadeem Omar, whose company Omar Associates has been one of the most consistent supporters of sports in Pakistan over the years, observed that it felt quite differently to be sponsored for the first time. 

“Yes indeed the feeling is quite different at the moment because we have been accustomed to sponsoring all along rather than being sponsored,” he added. 

Later talking to the media, Moin Khan echoed similar sentiments and he too was looking forward to exciting performances from the franchise youngsters in the upcoming PSL. 

Tabish Javed, Managing Director, Pakistan Lubricants, looked forward to a long-term relationship with Quetta Gladiators. 

“For over five decades our brand Master Oil has exemplified trust and the PSL presents us the opportunity to reach out to our last base of customers and further promote the passion for cricket. It is the first step in what is intended to be a long journey,” he remarked. 

The ceremony was also attended by the key officials of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), including its President, Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, and Secretary, Shafiq Kazmi.

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November 30, 2016

SSUET to raise boxing team


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Besides some other sports, the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, is now raising its boxing team.

According to the SSUET Director Sports, Mubbashir Mukhtar, the work has started on preparing the university's boxing team of eight to 10 members. 

So far, he said, 35 students got themselves registered for induction in the team. 

Mubbashir Mukhtar said that the trials for selection of team members have been conducted and required number of team members selected. 

He added that these selectees will undergo training for which a 10-day training camp, planned to be organized at some reputed martial art club in the city. 

The trials were conducted under the supervision of boxing coach Nasir Khaleeq and witnessed by the SSUET Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali. 

The university already has teams in cricket, hockey, football, volleyball, basketball, swimming, judo, taekawndo, table tennis, badminton and bodybuilding.

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November 16, 2016

PVCA board includes three Test cricketers


Pakistan News & Features Services

The Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA) has elected new board members and officials during its annual general body meeting held in Karachi and Lahore by video conferencing on November 14.

According to a notification issued by the PVCA, there were a total 16 directors, including three Test cricketers, Intikhab Alam, Ejaz Faquih and Kabir Khan, having been nominated by the four provinces and Islamabad. 

Fawad Ijaz Khan, Nadeem Omar, Alamgir Ahmed, Amjad Islam Rishi, Salman Butt and Ejaz Faquih have been elected as the PVCA Directors from Sindh while Ashiq Hussain Qureshi, Intikhab Alam,Mujahid Hamid, Asad Ali Khan, Zahid Hussain and Rizwan Nisar are the elected Directors from the province of Punjab. Kabir Khan and Tariq Khan Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shariq Hasib Khan (Balochistan) and Najeeb Sajid (Islamabad) are the other PVCA Directors elected from the respective territories.

Meanwhile Fawad Ijaz Khan and Ashiq Hussain Qureshi were unanimously re-elected as the new Chairman and Chief Executive of PVCA respectively for the three year term of 2016-19. Nadeem Sarwar was nominated as the Honorary Secretary and Rizwan Nisar was appointed as the Honorary Treasurer. 

The PVCA, which came into being in 1998, has emerged as one of the most proactive sports bodies, having organized numerous events. They have attributed the success to their consistent policies and the democratic set-up which they have had since its inception. 

Besides organizing cricket for the veterans, which remains its core objective, the PVCA has also played its role in promoting the game at the grassroots level, having organized eight editions of high-profile Inter-School cricket tournaments in Karachi, the last one of which concluded only a couple of days ago.

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November 14, 2016

Fahad Academy annex Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket title


Pakistan News & Features Services

Fahad Academy annexed the Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket Tournament 2016, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), by overpowering Qadri Public School by four wickets in the final at the National Stadium Karachi on November 13.

Fahad Academy, who had gone down fighting against Beaconhouse School System in the final of the previous edition of the tournament at the same venue a couple of years ago, made amends by prevailing over their opponents while chasing a target of 222 with nearly six overs to spare with their all-rounder Rahman Ghani clinching Man of the Match award. 

Put into bat, Qadri Model School was bowled out for 221 in 36.5 overs with opener S M Shaheer (81 off 79 balls) and number three Kashif Ali (42 off 46 balls) having laid a strong platform. 

Fahad Academy’s spin trio of Bilal Agha (2-23), Rahman Ghani (2-28) and Mohammad Umair (2-35) brought their side back in the game with their fine spells which didn’t allow the total to get into mammoth proportions. 

Having successfully chased down the target of 317 in the semifinal, Fahad Academy looked the favourites to clinch the issue when they began their innings needing 222 off 40 overs. 

Their semifinal hero, Mohammad Rehan, who cracked an incredible unbeaten double century, didn’t last long this time, however, perishing after scoring a whirlwind 19 off eight balls. 

The responsibility was taken over by the Fahad Academy skipper Mahmood Shah, who remained undefeated on 76 off 100 balls to take his time home with four wickets in hand. He shared 144-run third wicket stand with Rahman Ghani, who made 66 off 70 balls. 

Qadri Public School brought about a collapse in the closing stages by capturing four quick wickets but it was too late to change the course of the match. 

Nadeem Omar, Managing, Director, Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, who was the chief guest in the prize distribution ceremony, presented the winners’ trophy alongwith a purse of Rs 100,000 to the Fahad Academy skipper Mahmood Shah while the runner-up trophy, alongwith a sum of Rs 50,000, was collected by Abdul Basit, the captain of Qadri Public School. 

Cash prizes of Rs 5,000 each were also presented to the outstanding individual performers which included Rashid Chandio (best fielder), Anas Ilyas (best wicketkeeper), Talha Khan (best bowler), Saim Ayub (best batsman) and Rehan Tanoli (special award) while Usman Shan got cash award of Rs 10,000 for being declared Man of the Tournament. 

The welcome speech was delivered by Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, and besides the chief guest, Nadeem Omar, there were brief remarks from Moin Khan, Irfan Mirza and Alamgir Ahmed. Also present in the closing ceremony were Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, Iqbal Umar, Masroor Mirza, Syed Asad Murtaza, Shariq Hasib Khan, Nasrullah Khan, Amjad Islam and Hasnain Bokhari.

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November 12, 2016

Mohammad Rehan’s incredible double century guides Fahad Academy into Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket final


Pakistan News & Features Services

Opener Mohammad Rehan hammered an incredible unbeaten double century as Fahad Academy sneaked into the final of the Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket Tournament 2016, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), by edging out Kamran Public School one wicket in the second semifinal at the National Stadium Karachi on November 12. 

Fahad Academy, having ended as the runners-up in the previous edition of the tournament, has another chance of clinching the title as they take on Qadri Public School in the final at the same venue on November 13. 

The semifinal between Fahad Academy and Kamran Public School turned out to be an epic encounter in which 633 runs were scored off 79.4 overs and the issue was decided with just two balls remaining. It produced a couple of stunning knocks, one from either side. 

Skipper Anus Ilyas, who opened the innings, scored a magnificent 160 to help Kamran Public School post a mammoth score of 316 in 40 overs. But he was upstaged by Fahad Academy’s opener Mohammad Rehan who remained undefeated on a staggering 221 to guide his team to victory in the final over with last man at the other other end. 

Batting first, Kamran Public School got off to an exhilarating start and they sustained the tempo until the end of their innings. Anus Ilyas, who struck five sixes and 20 fours in his 160 off 113 balls, dominated the 91-run opening partnership with Hasan Jaffery who made a solid 33 off 55 balls with the help of two fours. 

Anus Ilyas was then engaged in a 190-run second wicket stand with Obaidullah, who whacked 10 fours in his breezy 91 off 67 balls. Kamran Public School lost only three wickets while score 316 in their allotted 40 overs. 

Chasing a formidable total of 317, Fahad Academy also got off to a flyer as the opening pair of Mohammad Rehan and Hammad Hasan added 90 for the first wicket. Kamran Public School pulled it back through the spin duo of Hasan Jaffery (2-25) and Mohammad Owais (2-64) but they were unable to dislodge Mohammad Rehan who fought a lone battle against all kind of bowlers. 

The fate of the match remained hinged on Mohammad Rehan as the wicket tumbled around him at regular intervals. His job was yet not done even after completing the landmark of double century. 

Fahad Academy still needed 11 runs for victory when he was joined by last man Naeem Gul. There was drama and excitement until Mohammad Rehan hit the winning the run to take his side to victory. He remained undefeated on 221 off 116 balls with the help of eight sixes and 28 fours to richly deserve Man of the Match award.

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November 11, 2016

Skipper Abdul Basit powers Qadri Public School into Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket final


Pakistan News & Features Services

Skipper Abdul Basit’s fine all-round performance powered Qadri Public School into the final of the Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket Tournament 2016, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), as they defeated Springfield School by three wickets in the first semifinal at the National Stadium Karachi on November 11. 

The other semifinal will be played between Fahad Academy and Kamran Public School at the same venue on November 12 and its winners will take on Qadri Public School in the final also to be staged at the National Stadium on November 13.

The captain led by example as Abdul Basit, adjudged Man of the Match, came out trumps with both bat and ball to become the difference between the two evenly matched sides in what turned out to be rather close encounter. He received the award from chief guest Syed Asad Murtaza, Marketing Manager, Bank Alfalah Limited.

Qadri Public School, after a superb opening stand, suffered a horrible middle-order collapse in pursuit of the target of 166 in 40 overs before eventually getting it with only three wickets and four overs in hand. 

Batting first, after winning the toss, Springfield School recovered to post a fighting total of 165, after having lost the first four wickets with only 45 runs on the board. Ibad-ur-Rahman led the recovery with a fluent half century, striking seven boundaries in his 54 off 59 balls. 

Then Badar Qureshi, who came at number nine, got some useful runs under pressure. He whacked four boundaries in 32 off 37 balls, dominating the 32-run last wicket stand with Taimur Mustafa whose contribution was a mere couple of runs. 

Qadri Public School’s medium-pacer Mohibullah Shaikh (4-35) rocked the top order while the off-spin of Abdul Basit (2-29) helped in bowling out Springfield School for 165 in 36 overs. 

Abdul Basit (57 off 78 balls) then featured in 95-run opening partnership with S M Shaheer (51 off 63 balls) which put them in the driving seat. Both the openers hammered seven boundaries in their half centuries. Springfield School fought back through the spin duo of Badar Qureshi (3-29) and Ibad-ur-Rahman (2-20) which saw the batting side slump from 131 for one to 151 for six. 

Medium-pacer Saim Ayub also took a couple of crucial wickets in his second spell to open up the contest but Qadri Public School was taken over the line by S M Sharjeel who remained undefeated on 24 off 32 balls with the help of two fours.

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November 10, 2016

Springfield School takes on Qadri Public School in Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket semifinal


Pakistan News & Features Services

Springfield School will take on Qadri Public School in the first semifinal of the Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket Tournament 2016, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), at the National Stadium Karachi on November 11. 

The other semifinal will be played between Fahad Academy and Kamran Public School at the same venue on November 12 while the curtain will fall on the two and a half month event with the final and the prize distribution ceremony, also to be staged at the National Stadium on November 13 

Rasheed Khan and Wasimuddin will be standing as umpires in the first semifinal while Nazir Butt and Mohammad Asghar will be the two umpires in the second semifinal. Rasheed Khan and Wasimuddin will also supervise the final and Mohammad Imran will continue to be the official scorer in the last three games of the tournament. 

Like the previous matches, the semifinals as well as the final will also be limited to 40 overs per innings and no bowler will be permitted to bowl more than eight overs in a match whereas in order to encourage fast bowlers, the teams will not be allowed to use spinners during the first six overs. 

In the quarter-finals, held at the Naya Nazimabad Lawai Stadium, Springfield School knocked down the defending champions, Beaconhouse School System, by 46 runs, Fahad Academy edged out Ebrahim Ali Bhai School by four wickets, Kamran Public School whipped Oasis Secondary School by 89 runs and Qadri Public School overpowered St Patrick High School by six wickets. 

Beaconhouse School System, Fahad Academy, Qadri Model School, Oasis English Secondary School, Springfield School, Ebrahim Ali Bhai School, St Patrick High School and Kamran Public School had emerged champions in Groups A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H respectively, at the end of the league matches, to qualify for the quarter-finals. 

This is for the eighth time when the PVCA has successfully organized the Inter-Schools tournament in Karachi, having launched it with resounding success in 1999. The event is being sponsored by Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd with Bank Alfalah Ltd being the co-sponsors.

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