By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The media briefing of the Naya Nazimabad Ramazan Cup Cricket Tournament 2016, offering a record prize money of Rupees two million, was marred by the persistent sound system breakdown here at the Karachi Gymkhana Banquet Hall on Tuesday.
It caused considerable embarrassment to the dignitaries, who had to endure problems in conveying their message across to the media corps present on the occasion.
The details about the four-week event, which will be getting underway at the Naya Nazimabad Lawai Stadium on June 28, were unfolded by Tournament Director, Riazuddin, who is also an international umpire.
The prize money of the tournament has been enhanced to Rupees two million with the winners to collect a rich purse of Rupees one million and the runners-up to receive Rs half a million.
Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Group, in his presidential address, shared the vision of his conglomerate which aims to contribute its bit in the promotion of sports in general and cricket in particular in the city of Karachi.
“The Lawai Cricket Stadium in Naya Nazimabad, having floodlights besides many other facilities, remains occupied throughout the year. We also have developed a football stadium which will be inaugurated soon. We will be developing a hockey stadium as well soon. Additionally an indoor sports complex is also being built right next to the cricket ground,” he announced.
Speaking on the occasion, Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates, expressed his delight at the development of the outstanding facilities for cricket matches at the Lawai Stadium.
“Our team has been playing the Naya Nazimabad Ramazan Cup since its inception and we are thrilled by the atmosphere at the ground. The cricketers have thoroughly enjoyed performing under floodlights in the most peaceful of environment,” he observed.
“Judging by the success of its previous editions, I have no doubt in my mind that it has become the premier tournament of the city to be organized during the holy month of Ramazan,” Nadeem Omar declared.
Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, President, Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), also appreciated the endeavours of the Arif Habib Group in the development of cricket facilities which will be helpful in raising the standard of the game.
He commended the organizers of the Naya Nazimabad Ramazan Cup for holding the tournament professionally since its inception three years ago and hoped that the ground will be playing host to the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in not too distant future.
Besides former Test cricketers, Jalaluddin, Shoaib Mohammad, Saleem Yousuf, Ejaz Faqih and Nadeem Khan, the ceremony was also attended by Samad Habib, CEO, Naya Nazimabad, Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, President, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), and Mohammad Iqbal, Director Sports, Naya Nazimabad.
Meanwhile the 16 participating teams in the Naya Nazimabad Ramazan Cup Cricket Tournament 2016 have been divided equally in four groups. National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has been drawn in the Group A which also contains Dollar East, Heroes Cricket Club and Atiq Estate while the quartet of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Eaton Cricket Club and Dawood Sports constitute the Group B.
Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC), Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SSGPL), Alamgir Gymkhana and Medicam have been placed in the Group C while the Group D features United Bank Limited (UBL), Omar Associates, K-Electric and Qasmi Cricket Club.