September 15, 2014

HBL Inter-Schools Cricket Tournament to commence on Sept 18


Pakistan News & Features Services

A total of 32 outfits will be taking part in the HBL Inter-Schools Cricket Tournament 2014, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA). 

The details about the tournament, to be spread over nearly two and half months, were unveiled in a media briefing by Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, and Aman Aziz Siddiqui, Head of Strategy & Investment, HBL, at the Karachi Gymkhana on September 15. 

The top functionaries of the PVCA, Nadeem Omar, Brig Salahuddin and Iqbal Umar, were also present on the occasion, along with the chief of the HBL Sports Division, Abdul Raquib, the President of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, and the Head of the Aman Sports, Khwaja Obaid Ilyas. Besides the media corps, the representatives of the participating schools also attended the briefing.

It was announced that former Pakistan captains, Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi, both of whom are employed by HBL, will be making in an appearance in the tournament’s opening ceremony at the Karachi Gymkhana on September 18. 

Fawad Ijaz Khan, in his speech, highlighted the role of the PVCA in the promotion of cricket at the grassroots level, as the association is holding seventh edition of the Inter-School Tournament in Karachi . 

“We had launched the Inter-Schools cricket on the pattern of the Ruby Shield, which used to be the premier tournament of its kind and it’s still talked about with great awe. We have visualized something similar and we need supporters like HBL to join hands with us in making it an annual event,” he observed. 

“By holding the Inter-Schools tournaments we have continually dispelled the impression that the PVCA was catering to the needs of the veteran cricketers only. This tournament is another strong reminder that we do care for the youngsters of the society as well,” Fawad Ijaz Khan emphasized. 

Aman Aziz Siddiqui, Head of Strategy & Investment, HBL, remarked that his institution took pride in having been in the forefront in the development of sports over the years and they looked forward to playing their role as a responsible corporate citizen. 

He agreed to look into the possibilities of transforming the HBL Inter-Schools Cricket into an annual event besides spreading it to other parts of the country as the idea was to promote the game from the grassroots level. 

“Sports remains an integral part of education and we desire to play a proactive role in supporting activities aimed at facilitating the youngsters. Cricket and football are the two games we are concentrating on at the moment,” he added. 

The participating teams have been divided equally in eight groups. The Group A comprises of HBL Schoolboys Whites, Behbud Boys Secondary School , Ladybird Grammar School and Foundation Public School while the Group B contains Habib Public School , Army Public School , Fatimiyah Boys School and Beaconhouse School PECHS. 

The Group C features Kamran Public School , Aga Khan Higher Secondary School , Falconhouse Grammar School and Azeem Academy while the Group D is composed of Fahad Academy , New Standard Grammar School, Zeeshan Public School and Qadri Model School.

The quartet of St Patrick’s High School, Karachi Grammar School , Civil Aviation Authority School and Beaconhouse School North Nazimabad constitute the Group E while the Group F has the presence of St Paul ’s High School, Karachi Public School, Happy Home School and Rangers Public School . 

The Group G includes Fahim School System, Ebrahim Ali Bhai School , Qamar-e-Bani Hashim School and Khan Secondary while the contestants in the Group H are HBL Schoolboys Greens, New Oxford Grammar School, The City School and Metropolitan Academy. 

At the end of the league matches, the leaders of all the eight groups will be advancing to the knockout stage of the competition, starting with the quarter-finals. Both the semifinals as well as the final will be telecast live. The final will be played at the Karachi Gymkhana on November 27.

readmore »»

Pakistan Customs declare 2015 as Year of Jalaluddin


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Customs has decided to celebrate 2015 as the tribute year to Jalaluddin, a former Test bowler, in recognition of his services as a player, a coach and as an administrator. 

The announcement was made by Nazim Saleem, Chief Collector Customs, (Enforcement South), during his speech in the certificate distribution ceremony of the Pace Bowler’s Training Camp, organized by the Customs Cricket Academy (CCA) which took place on the evening of September 13. 

The Chief Collector, undertaking his maiden visit to the CCA, housed in Federal-B-Area, thoroughly appreciated the efforts of his predecessors for having supported the cause of the game by developing a state-of-the-art cricket academy. 

Nazim Saleem paid glowing tribute to the deceased CCA coach, Shabbir Hussain, besides recognizing the administrators and the coaches of the academy. He lavished Jalaluddin with praise for his single-mindedness and consistency of purpose. 

“It’s quite extraordinary how he has worked for the development of the players in the country. Let us acknowledge the efforts of Head Coach Jalaluddin for having established the CCA as the leading academy of the country. We think it’s the right time to honour Jalaluddin on his meritorious services for cricket and players development. We will hold quite a few events to pay tribute to Jalaluddin such as T-20 Cricket Match, grand gala dinner and a seminar on coaching during the coming year (2015),” the Chief Collector stated. 

He advised the management of the CCA to install a sculpture of Khalil Masood, a former collector and the founder of the academy, at the entrance to the ground in recognition of his marvellous deeds. 

Jalaluddin, in his speech, highlighted the salient features of the Pace Bowler’s Training Programme, which was organized to give an opportunity to the young and upcoming pace bowlers having talent and desiring to develop themselves as quality bowlers. He described pace bowling as a combination of talent, science and art. 

“The programme, sponsored by Omar Associates, has proved that there is no dearth of pace bowlers in Karachi. Ther event has been successful one as few of them performed well at the district level and were selected for first time for region,” the former Test fast bowler remarked. 

“Maham Tariq, the only girl who was selected for the camp, showed great improvement during the training programme and she was rewarded for his great effort by picking her for Pakistan’s women cricket team for the tour of Australia. She only had participated at district level before coming here,” Jalaluddin, who performed the first hat-trick in One-day Internationals, added. 

Meanwhile Basit Ali was declared the best bowler of the camp, Nawaz Khan was adjudged as the best learner, Abdullah Aziz was decorated as the best young bowler and Maham Tariq was recognized as the find of the camp.

readmore »»

Jahangir Moghul considers Grand Master Ashraf Tai as Bruce Lee of Pakistan


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Jahangir Moghul, a renowned social figure and philanthropist, has compared Pakistan’s most famous Grand Master Mohammad Ashraf Tai to Bruce Lee, the legendary Hong Kong American martial artist and martial arts instructor. 

“Grand Master Ashraf Tai has remained an iconic figure throughout the country for decades and his students and trainees have taken bando karate, introduced in Pakistan by him in 1971, to different corners of the world. He commands the same kind of respect in Pakistan which Bruce Lee had earned for his exploits in martial arts,” Jahangir Moghul, elected as District Governor of Rotary International for the year 2015-16, remarked during his recent visit to the headquarters of Tai’s Karate Centre, housed at the KGA Gymkhana in Karachi. 

He has also proposed Lifetime Achievement Award for the legendary martial artist, Grand Master Ashraf Tai, in recognition of his meritorious services in the promotion of karate. 

Credited to have introduced bando karate, the Burmese style of martial arts, in Pakistan way back in 1971, Grand Master Ashraf Tai earned worldwide fame with his accomplishments against the top-notchers of the sport. 

Jahangir Moghul, who has been proactively involved in community service and social work over a number of years, besides doing justice to his various portfolios in the managing committees of the Karachi Gymkhana, has remained an ardent supporter of Grand Master Ashraf Tai. 

“He’s an icon of marial arts and a role model for the youngsters of the country. It has been a privilege visiting the Tai’s Karate Centre and watching the Grand Master in action imparting training to the keen learners of different age-groups. It’s quite extraordinary that he has not lost the intensity despite the bouts of illness during the last couple of years. Let’s pray for his long life with immaculate health,” Jahangir Moghul observed. 
“Grand Master Ashraf Tai is a deserved winner of the Pride of Performance Award which was bestowed upon him by the President of Pakistan more than a decade time. Heroes like him need to be recognized again and again. He should be considered for a Life Achievement Award at the highest level now,” Jahangir Moghul reckoned. 

He recalled that Grand Master Ashraf Tai had created a sensation by overpowering Stanley Michael of Malaysia in the final of the Afro-Asia Championship in 1978 and he confirmed his superiority in the continent by outwitting Japan 's Koha Yash a year later. 

It may be recalled that Grand Master Ashraf Tai is also credited to have founded the Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) and succeeded in having the body affiliated to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) as well as the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).  Having received numerous awards in various continents of the world during his illustrious career, he was declared the International Grand Master of the Year in 2000 by an institution based in the United States . 

The Tai's Bando Karate Centre has trained thousands of martial artists. The branches of his centres have not only been functioning with great success all over the country but the students trained by him have also been operating the centres named after him in quite a few countries like the United States of America (USA), England, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, France, Holland and Bangladesh. 

Grand Master Ashraf Tai holds the distinction of claiming the highest degree (8th Dan) in the martial arts history of the country. Only a handful of martial artists have matched his feat worldwide. He had started karate at the age of nine with his master Lee Phow Shin while he received black belt at the age of 16. He started participating in a lot of local tournaments, most of which were professional. 

Less than a year after migrating to Karachi from Chittagong in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1970, he started the first-ever martial arts school in Pakistan by the name of Tai’s Karate Centre which was located at the Hill Park. He then shifted the centre to its present premises at the KGA Gymkhana. 

The Tai’s Karate Centre expanded gradually. In the beginning when he started teaching karate at the Hill Park, there are hardly six to seven students and the Grand Master had to persuade people to come and learn karate. The students trained by him spread the word around in a few years time the growth became phenomenal and the rest is history.

readmore »»

Naya Nazimabad Peace Cup scales greater heights in second edition


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The recently held second edition of the Naya Nazimabad Peace Cup 2014 turned out to be a standout event of Karachi. The picturesque Lawai Stadium, illuminated with stunning floodlights, remained the talk of the town with the live telecast of the knockout games for seven nights running. 

Everything about the tournament, spread over a month or so, was near perfect. The facilities at the ground were truly exceptional. It was quite extraordinary how they managed to save the pitch when it rained heavily before the start of the one of the semifinals. 

There were fears that the match might have to be postponed because the rain was so heavy. But the pitch had been so nicely protected that it remained dry when the covers were taken off much to the amusement of the players and the officials. It was nothing short of a miracle that 12-overs-a-side contest was still made possible shortly at the end of the heavy downpour. 

There were apprehensions in some minds about the location of the ground but, as Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Group, had so emphatically stated during the media launch of the event at the Karachi Gymkhana a couple of days before the start of the tournament, there was nothing to worry about when approaching the ground or leaving it. 

The event progressed very smoothly indeed and not a single untoward incident was reported during 31 nights of cricket action. There was no issue of law and order situation in the area during the entire length of the tournament. 

All the matches were played under floodlights and there was tremendous excitement at the ground which built an atmosphere that’s rarely found at other venues of Karachi these days. The dream of establishing the Lawai Stadium in Naya Nazimabad as a model cricket ground is very much on the way to fulfillment. 

It has already created waves in a short span of time and it seems a matter of time when high-profile matches will be taking place at this marvellous venue. The 2nd Naya Nazimabad Peace Cup was yet another feather in the cap of the promoters of the massive housing scheme, who consider cricket as the paramount source of binding the various sections of the society. 

It went to the credit of the management of the corporation to have arranged for the live telecast of the knockout matches of the 2nd Peace Cup which was a great value addition for the tournament itself. It was quite a remarkable achievement to have done it so quickly. Other local tournaments have also been televised in the recent past but it had taken ages for them to do so. 

The Naya Nazimabad Peace Cup, launched only last year, was on air in only its second edition. The presence of the high-ranking government officials, including Commissioner Karachi, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, and Advisor on Sports to Sindh Chief Minister, Adil Siddiqui, besides some top businessmen of the country was a testimonial to the success of the tournament. 

Mohammad Iqbal, Director Sports, Naya Nazimabad, played the pivotal role in making the tournament a resounding success. The former first-class cricketer, who also has vast experience of cricket administration, worked with missionary zeal almost round the clock to ensure that everything remained in order. 

The success of the 2nd Peace Cup should pave the way for further glories for the Lawai Stadium which is expected to host matches of the national cricket tournaments, organized by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as early as the upcoming season. The Lawai Stadium, named after Hussain Lawai, a famous banker, seems set to become one of the most sought-after cricket grounds of the country.

readmore »»

Recent Posts