By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Nadeem Omar, a Presidential candidate in the upcoming elections of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), has dispelled the impression that Karachi didn’t possess the capability to produce high quality fast bowlers for the top level.
“The ethnic cultural mix puts Karachi at a huge advantage and here we do have quite a few potentially good fast bowlers. Their misfortune, however, is the quality of pitches which don’t offer them any sort of encouragement. I am convinced that Karachi will produce many fast bowlers of international quality if the pitches were made lively,” he contended during the media briefing of the Pace Bowlers Training Programme, being organized by the Customs Cricket Academy (CCA).
He had no doubts in his mind whatsoever about the Karachi fast bowlers being capable enough to compete at the national level. “Yes I am absolutely sure that we do possess enormous talent in the fast bowling department as well. It’s just the question of polishing their skills and providing them the right kind of environment,” Nadeem Omar emphasized.
Meanwhile a total of 16 promising youngsters, in the age group of 17 to 22 years, are being imparted one-month coaching under the guidance of the CCA Head Coach, Mr Jalaluddin. The programme, having commenced on December 15, will continue until January 14.
The details were unveiled in a media briefing by Jalaluddin at the Karachi Gymkhana Banquet Hall. Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates, and Khalil Masood, former Collector of Customs, also shared their thoughts on the occasion.
Besides the participating young cricketers, their coaches and trainers as well as some former cricketers like Abdul Raquib, Anwar Khan and Anwar-ul-Haq were also in attendance in the gathering.
“The Pace Bowlers Training Programme is being conducted to provide an opportunity to the young and upcoming fast bowlers who have talent and capacity to graduate to the higher level. Qualified coaches feel that the raw talent should develop with the knowledge of basic bio-mechanics, physiology and attributes of physical fitness that help them in their self-development. Our programme has been designed to keep focus on these aspects,” Jalaluddin, acclaimed as the highest qualified cricket coach in the country, observed in his opening remarks.
“The trainees have been picked in the age groups of Under-17 and Under-22 but neither of these youngsters has played much cricket yet and they are considered raw pace bowling talent. In the limited time period and also because of the resource constraints we could not hold open trials. We have selected these youngsters upon the recommendation of the various clubs of Karachi,” he revealed.
“Although the programme is aimed at boosting the fast bowling resources of Karachi, the ultimate beneficiary will be the Pakistan cricket. A few of these bowlers, when developed perfectly, could go on to represent the country in future,” Jalaluddin felt.
Khalil Masood, Patron of the CCA, remarked that Pakistan Customs, as a department, had a moral obligation to serve the community and it was exactly doing that by engaging the youth in such healthy activities.
The cricketers selected for the Pace Bowlers Training Programme, being sponsored by Omar Associates, are Waqar Anwar, Nawaz Khan, Basit Ali, Noor Khan, Ihsan Afridi, Usman Ghani, Noman Saleem, Minhaj Kamal, Ahsan Iqbal, Khurram Shahzad, Sameed Qadri, Abdullah Aziz, Hammad Raza, Ahad Ali and Mohammad Raheel. A women cricketer, Maham Tariq, is also taking part in the training programme.
The CCA will be spending around Rs 65,000 on each participant as it includes the cost of training, equipment, resource material and hospitality.