By Syed Khalid Mahmoof
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
A record prizemoney of over Rupees one million will be disbursed in the 29th edition of the Karachi Gymkhana Omar Associates Ramazan Festival Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2014 which will be getting underway on the first day of the holy month.
The details about the tournament, having pioneered the concept of T20 cricket in the country, was unveiled in a media briefing by Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates, and Ali Rahim, President, Karachi Gymkhana, here at the Gymkhana’s Banquet Hall on June 21.
The winners will be receiving a purse of Rs five lacs while the runners-up will be collecting Rs two and a half lacs and the semifinalists will be getting Rs 50,000 each. There will be individual cash awards of more than Rs two lacs on offer as well.
Nadeem Omar, in his brief speech, pointed out that the Ramazan cricket tournaments of the city have led to the revival of international career of quite a few fringe players like fast bowler Mohammad Irfan and opening batsman Nasir Jamshed, both of whom came back in the reckoning with strong performances.
Mian Shaukat Hussain, who conducted the proceedings, remarked that the Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan tourney has set very high standards to be recognized as the most prestigious of all such events held in the metropolis.
Test umpire Riazuddin spoke about the technical aspects of the tournament, emphasizing that points will be shared in case of non-completion of league matches although the organizing committee reserved the right to amend the rule.
The family of Shabbir Hussain, the deceased former cricketer who coached the Gymkhana members for a long time, will be presented a handsome purse at the end of the tournament. A fund for this purpose has been created and substantial donations were pledged on the spot by Nadeem Omar, Altaf Agha and Iqbal Umar.
Meanwhile, a total of 16 teams, divided equally in four groups, will be entering the competition. Top two teams from each of the four groups will qualify for the knockout phase starting with quarter-finals.
For the first time in its 29-year-old history the sponsors of the tournament, Omar Associates, will also be the defending champions.
The draws of the tournament, having been taken out in the presence of the officials of the participating teams and the tournament officials at the Gymkhana’s cricket ground a few days ago, were also released on the occasion.
Holders and sponsors Omar Associates have been drawn in the Group A alongwith Qasmi Cricket Club,
and Brothers Cricket Club Dadu while the Group B comprises of Mohammad Hussain
Cricket Club, Karachi Gymkhana, Sony Associates and Eaton Cricket Club. Karachi Gymkhana Academy