December 25, 2016

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

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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

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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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