December 30, 2017

Changing face of Younis Khan the great


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan’s former captain and arguably the greatest batsman to be produced by the country, Younis Khan, had a knack of being at the centre of quite a few controversies during the peak of an otherwise illustrious career.

He retired from international earlier this year, after having become the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 Test runs.

His tally of 34 Test centuries also remains the highest for the country and they may remain so for a very long time.

His Test record was nothing short of being incredible. He amassed as many as 10,099 runs at a highly impressive average of 52.02 in a career spanning no less than 118 Test matches.

These are truly outstanding numbers and even the all-time great batsmen would have been proud to own such a record.

Younis was seldom accorded the respect or the recognition he richly deserved. Obviously there was the ever-present element of politics in Pakistan cricket which played its due role in him not getting the status he was entitled for.

But another factor which contributed in him being in the news for wrong reasons was his temperament. For some strange reasons he was unable to handle the success which had come his way. He would have been better off having sought some professional advice in this matter but probably nobody was sincere enough to have guided him towards that point.

In fact there were a few occasions when his accomplishments were overshadowed by his inability to conduct himself in a befitting manner with the most glaring example being the events following the ICC World T20 Championship 2009 which Pakistan had won under his leadership.

Instead of becoming a folk hero after such an emphatic victory which had allowed Pakistan to lay hands at an ICC trophy for the first time after 17 years, he was found guilty of messing it up with the media corps who was there to report the arrival of the victorious team under his command.

It's not to argue here who was right or wrong or if Younis was provoked by someone at the airport but the fact of the matter is that the triumphant skipper should have talked more about the glories in order to capitalize on the resounding victory instead of engaging into something which could have been avoided.

The mercurial right-handed batsman, whose temperament and technique were exemplary in the cricket field, would have been better off having shouldered arms or ducked instead of having a go at the volley of questions from the journalists present at the airport.

As it turned out, Younis was boycotted by the furious media community and the then Sindh Sports Minister, Dr Syed Mohammad Ali Shah, had to arrange a hurriedly called breakfast meeting at his residence on the Independence Day where the misunderstandings were cleared finally.

Younis, as his awesome Test record testifies, that he remained a champion batsman all along. He was a fantastic captain too. He was a courageous fellow who dared attacking the opponents in the field. Alas he was found wanting, only off the field.

Well Younis, after having quit international cricket, has started looking like a different man now. He has been expressing his thoughts in an articulate manner and he has spoken sense more often than not. We all know that he understands the finer points of the game so well. It was just a matter of time for him to get into the groove.

It's very heartening indeed to find a positive change in his attitude. His willingness to be a part of the social campaigns is winning him more friends now. An exceptionally gifted player like Younis has a lot to offer for the game. As he cares for the society and loves the game so passionately we should be seeing more of him in future.

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December 24, 2017

Mahmood Lodhi invited for King Salman World Rapid , Blitz Chess


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan’s first-ever Grand Master (GM) Mahmood Ahmed Khan Lodhi has been invited to feature in King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship being staged in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from December 24 to 31.

“I have received an invitation through Federation Internationale de Chess (FIDE). It’s a great honour for me as well as Pakistan for its being the global event. The FIDE Executive Director Nigel Freeman has sent me the invitation for this prestigious event,” he informed reporters upon arrival from Lahore en-route to Saudi capital on December 23.

Mahmood Lodhi had become the first-ever GM in 70-year history of Pakistan when he won the Asian Senior s Chess Championship in Auckland few months ago.

“The World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will be the star attraction for the championship in which over 250 men players including world leading GMs, International Masters and FIDE Masters and host Saudi Arabian players will be taking part,” he disclosed.

“The week-long championship is expected to be a big success with the presence of so many stalwarts of the game. The host country is providing boarding and lodging facilities to all the participants,” he added.

It was revealed that a record sum of US $750,000 will be on offer in each of the Open events and US $250,000 will be the prize money for each of the women's event

The first two Rapid Championships (Open and Women) will be played from December 26 to 28 while the Blitz Championships (Open and Women) will follow on December 29 and 30.

The number of players participating in the World Championships is set at a maximum number of 250 players for the Open events and 150 players for the Women events.

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December 21, 2017

VFCC proceed to KL with high hopes of winning Titan’s Cup


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News &  Features Services)

Vital Five Cricket Club (VFCC), having emerged as one of the leading clubs of Karachi in a rather short span of time, will be participating in the inaugural KL Titan’s Cup T20 Champions Trophy Cricket Tournament 2017 being staged in Malaysia.

A 21-member VFCC squad, comprising of 16 cricketers and five officials, will be flying out to Kuala Lumpur in the wee hours of December 22 to compete in the two-week long international event. 

Left-arm spinner Faheem Ahmed will be captaining VFCC with opening batsman Hassan Mahmood to be his deputy. Saad Alam and Ali Imran are the other openers in the squad while Rameez Raja and Akbar Babar are the specialist middle-order batsmen.

Shaharyar Ali Rizvi has been selected as the wicketkeeper batsman while Yasir Hussain, Ansar Mushtaq and Khurram Shahzad are the three all-rounders. Waqar Anwar, Hamza Ansari Ammar Khan and Huzaifi Hussain Alvi are the medium-pacers while Arsalan Hussain and Shaharyar Tanvir are the lead spinners.

Javed Raza Naqvi will be the chef de mission while Waqar Hussain will be the manager with Jalaluddin, Anwar-ul-Haq and Haris Khan to be the head coach, the batting coach and the bowling respectively.

The 12 participating teams in the KL Titan’s Cup T20 Champions Trophy Cricket Tournament have been divided equally in two groups for the preliminary rounds.

VFCC has been placed in the Group B alongwith FRCC, Haji Baba CC, Pak Flag CC, TSCC and Eleven Star CC while the Group A comprises of Active CC, Islamabad Green CC, Moin Khan Academy, Spartans CC and Xchanging Warriors.

At the end of the league matches, the top four teams from both the groups will qualify for the knockout stage of the competition starting with quarter-finals.

Meanwhile VFCC hosted a dinner reception prior to the departure of the squad at the Karachi Gymkhana on December 19 in which Younis Khan, a former Pakistan captain and the leading scorer of runs and centuries for the country in Test cricket, was the chief guest. Prolific Test batsman

Asad Shafiq was also present in the ceremony, largely attended by the officials and members of the club alongwith the Kuala Lumpur bound squad.

Speaking briefly on the occasion Younis Khan didn’t mince words in stating that the promotion of club cricket merited greater attention than the development of academies.

He lauded the efforts of VFCC in promoting cricket from the grassroots level and then fast tracking the development of young cricketers by sending them abroad to compete in international events like the KL Titan’s Cup.

Javed Raza, Chairman, VFCC, shared the aims and objects of the club, expressing his satisfaction over its phenomenal growth from the outset which he attributed to team work and the blessings of the present and former superstars of the country.

“We envision creating a safe, enjoyable and productive environment in which club cricket could excel while our mission is to bring back professional club culture through structuring and by engaging into positive and competitive cricket. We are on course of achieving of achieving of becoming the top cricket club of Karachi,” he disclosed.

Jalaluddin, a former Test cricketer and Head Coach of VFCC, described the club as an offshoot of the Customs Cricket Academy (CCA) and both the institutions were working hand in hand to accomplish the mutual goal of grooming the young talent and preparing them for tougher battles.

He recalled the outfits of VFCC as well as the CCA have had excellent track record abroad, having won tournaments in India, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the recent past.

Khalil Masood, an ex-Chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Patron in Chief of VFCC and CCA, complimented Jalaluddin and his team for having delivered consistently during the last couple of decades to raise the bar.

“Our concept of providing coaching, participation in competitions and welfare of youngsters has set an example to follow for others. Our team of coaches has done a commendable job over the years to attain their present status,” he acknowledged.

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November 29, 2017

Alamgir Shaikh to represent ACBS in IBSF Board


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Another feather was added in the cap of Pakistan’s top snooker personality, Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, as he has been nominated to represent the continent of Asia at the Board of the International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF).

Zulfiqar Ali Ramzi, Honorary Secretary, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), announced that the decision in this regard was taken in the recent annual general body of the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) held in Doha, Qatar, on the sidelines of the IBSF World Snooker Championships 2017. 

“Alamgir Shaikh, who is the Vice President of the ACBS, has been nominated to represent the continental body at the IBSF Board while Munawwar Hussain Shaikh, President, PBSA, has been appointed as the legal advisor of the ACBS. Both the appointments are great honour for the snooker fraternity of Pakistan,” the PBSA official acknowledged. 

In a brief chat, upon his arrival from Doha, where he had gone to attend the ACBS meeting besides watching the World Championship, Alamgir Shaikh, Co-Chairman, PBSA, vowed to continue playing his role more effectively in the further development of cue sports at the global level. 

“Indeed there are challenges to be met and I will bring all my expertise into play to promote the cause of cue sports on a larger canvas,” he added. 

A recipient of the coveted Pride of Performance award, presented by the President of Pakistan, in recognition to his services in sports administration, he remained upbeat about taking the Pakistan snooker to even higher level in future. 

Having served a couple of highly successful tenures of four years each as the President of the PBSA, starting from 2008 to 2016, Alamgir Shaikh, also a member of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), expressed the hope that the momentum as well as fresh efforts will continue taking the Pakistan snooker forward in the years to come. 

“Cue sports in Pakistan has come a long away in the recent past and our sustained efforts have yielded the results in the form of glories in almost every international event and more importantly we have prepared a crop of youngsters who are geared to move on,” he reckoned.

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November 27, 2017

Saldera Open Bowling explodes at Royal Rodale Club


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The fourth edition of All Pakistan Saldera Open Tenpin Bowling Championship exploded into action at the Royal Rodale Club in DHA, Karachi, on November 26 with lucrative Rupees one million prize money up for grab. 

Around 200 bowlers from across the country would be battling for top honors and heavy purse. Ahmer Abbas and Jannat Shaikh would be defending their men and women singles in the championship last year. 

The Sindh Tenpin Bowling Association (PTBA) is conducting the event on behalf of Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF).

Besides men and women titles, Masters Open, Graded Singles, Women’s, Under 24, Under 12, Novice Beginners, Doubles & Team Event & Inter-Media categories will also be part of the contest. 

The winners of men singles will get Rs 75,000 and the runners-up will pick up Rs 30,000 while the winners of the ladies crown will collect Rs 10,000 and the runners-up to get Rs 5,000. 

In the other events like Open Singles winners collect Rs 40,000 and the runners-up take home Rs 30,000. 

The 19-year-old Ahmer Abbas had created history last year with a Perfect Game of 300 in Pakistan. He is once again firm favorites for the crown.

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November 11, 2017

Race against time as NSK renovation gears up for PSL


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

It will be race against time as renovation and refurbishment work at the National Stadium Karachi (NSK) has geared up for holding the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL-3) in February 2018.

The country’s premier Test centre has been without proper international activity since 2009 although an invitation XI, featuring quite a few foreign cricketers, had played a couple of T20 games against Pakistan XI in 2012. 

The Gaddafi Stadium Lahore has hosted a few international matches, including One-day and T20 series against Zimbabwe, last year’s PSL final, T20 series against World XI and recent one T20 against Sri Lanka. 

The pressure was mounting on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to restore international cricket in Karachi as well. The PCB Chairman, Najam Sethi, then announced that Karachi will host at least four matches in the PSL-3. 

He also disclosed having tried his best to hold one World XI match in Karachi but the International Cricket Council (ICC) didn’t agree. He hoped that the NSK will be in line for hosting international matches in future after successfully staging its matches of the PSL-3.

Holders Islamabad United, runners-up Quetta Gladiators, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi and the newly included Multan Sultan will take part in the PSL-3 which is likely to start from the middle of February and conclude with final on the Pakistan Day (March 23). 

Meanwhile the National Logistic Cell (NLC) Engineering Department has been assigned the task to complete the first phase of the renovation work ahead of PSL matches. 

The PCB had awarded a Rs. billion NSK up gradation work to NLC with NESPAK as its consultant. According to the contract, the work has to be completed in one year time. “We are determined and eager to complete the task of first phase within the allocated time,” Project Manager NLC Engineering, Wing Col (Rtd) Muhammad Sohaib, stated. 

He said that they were using different work force for the purpose. It started with a work force of at the start and presently around 50-60 people were on the job “We use the work force as per our requirement,” he remarked.

A recent visit to NSK showed that all the 22 public bathrooms with 8 to 10 toilet blocks have already been dismantled while roof of the VIP stands including Hanif Mohammad and Javed Miandad enclosures has already been removed and this will follow in respect of other stands. 

The installation of 30 new hospitality boxes with attached bath rooms located technically on the fourth floor is also part of the first phase with installation of a modern lift for these boxes. 

The chairman boxes with capacity of around 100 signatories, teams’ dressing rooms, umpires rooms, referee room, physiotherapist room, and broadcasters and media boxes will also be renovated and upgraded with modern facilities. 

The 33,000 capacity stadium last staged a major international event of Asia Cup in 2008, a memorable event participated by holders Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The entrance of the stadium will also be improved and both the roads inside will be carpeted. Parking facilities for around 500 to 600 vehicles is also being created.

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November 9, 2017

Rangers Cricket Club set to tour Rawalpindi, Islamabad


Pakistan News & Features Services

Rangers Cricket Club, one of the oldest cricket clubs of the country, will be undertaking its annual tour of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and its 15-member squad will be leaving Karachi on November 10. 

Zia-ul-Hasan, Honorary Secretary, Rangers CC, which was established way back in 1960, informed that the club will embark on a 10-day tour of the twin cities where, as usual, they will be playing limited overs fixtures against the various local outfits. 

Imran Ali will be captaining the side with Mati-ur-Rahman, S M Babar, Fayyaz Ahmed, Rehan Sajid, Babar Hussain, Nasir Ali, Ahmed Hussain, Anus Mustafa, Khurram Ali, Jawwad Ali, Shoaib Khan, Sufiyan Ahmed, Shiraz Ishaq and Mohammad Saqib being the other member. Ali Akbar, a first-class cricketer, will accompany the team as manager.

It may be recalled that Rangers CC, affiliated with the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), had last year celebrated its golden jubilee in a befitting manner by having honoured its former players in a reception at the NBP Sports Complex, Karachi.

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Hasan Sardar shocked at Pakistan’s annihilation in Melbourne


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Chief Selector Olympian Hasan Sardar was shocked at Pakistan’s 1-9 loss to hosts Australia in the opening encounter of the International Festival of Hockey at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne on November 8.

It was their worst-ever defeat in its hockey history as previously their worst had come at Terrassa, Spain, in the 2016 Champions Trophy when Holland whacked Pakistan 9-2. 

“I am stunned by the hammering at the hands of the Aussies because I was not expecting such a margin of defeat,” he reacted after the nightmarish defeat. 

“Although our team is going through rebuilding process but losing to world champions Australia by such a margin has shocked everyone attached with the national sport,” the ace centre-forward in his playing days conceded. 

He felt that lack of rest and jet lag could be the causes because the Mohammad Irfan led Pakistan outfit had entered the arena barely eight hours after having landed in Australia. Hasn Sardar, however, minced no words in admitting that the Australians were too good a side particularly on their home turf.

The 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Gold Medalist was optimistic about Pakistan’s team faring better in their coming matches against New Zealand and Japan. 

“Obviously at the moment we are not expecting revolution in national hockey. Our first target is to see Pakistan become Asian champions. Once we achieve that our boys will regain confidence which is so vital in sports,” he added. 

He said that Pakistan barely had a pool of 25 to 30 players from which selectors have to pick the national team. 

Hasan Sardar stated that in order to give international experience they have blooded four juniors in the team following the Asia Cup where Pakistan secured a bronze medal.

He regretted that presently Pakistan was also struggling to score on penalty corners with skipper Mohammad Irfan and Abu Bakar, the penalty corner strikers, unable to penalty corner conversion. 

Meanwhile Blake Govers scored a hat-trick, while Aaron Kleinschmidt hit a double in the Australia’s massive win over Pakistan, who scored their solitary goal via Abu Bakar strike in the 32nd minute. 

Australia dominated the proceedings throughout the game with their first goal coming in the eighth minute, off their first penalty corner. The lead was doubled within four minutes and there was no looking back for the home side. 

Pakistan showed some resilience in the third quarter which seemed the best 15 minutes of the game for the green shirts. They earned a couple of penalty corners, and scored off one of them. Their sloppy defending, however, resumed in the last quarter which saw them conceding as many as four goals.

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November 8, 2017

Larkana wins Sindh Judo Championship 2017


Pakistan News & Features Services

Larkana emerged triumphant in the second edition of the Sindh Inter-District Judo Championship 2017 which concluded at the Dewa Complex in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi.

Sanghar ended as the runners-up and Mirpurkhus stood third in the two-day event which was organized by the Sindh Judo Association (SJA) with the collaboration of the Sindh Sports Board (SSB) and sponsored by Kohinoor Soap and Detergent (Pvt) Limited. 

A total of 24 players from six districts participated in the championship which was won by Larkana, who accumulated 36 points as they secured two gold medals and one bronze medal. 

There was tough fight for the top slot between Larkana and Sanghar districts with a solitary point separating the two outfits. Sanghar had to be content with the second position with a tally of 35 points as they claimed a gold medal besides two silver medals. 

Mirpurkhas earned 15 points by winning three bronze medals to take the third position while Hyderabad was relegated to the fourth slot with an aggregate on 10 points. Sukkur and Nawabshah jointly shared the fifth position in the table by winning a bronze medal each.

Contests were held in the three weight categories of 50 kg, 56 kg and open weight. The 24 participants were initially engaged in preliminary round fights. 

In the finals, fierce bouts took place between the judokas of Larkana and Sanghar while defending champions Sukkur were unable to reproduce the form they had displayed in the inaugural championship. 

Mohammad Ali performed the duties of chief referee while the panel of referees also contained Mohammad Ammad, Dilawar Khan Mannan, Shahid Ansari, Ijaz Ali Buledi, Rao Wajid, Fatima Irfan and Hina Subhan. 

Syed Wasim Hashmi, President, SJA, in his welcome address during the presentation ceremony, spoke about the recent initiatives undertaken by the provincial body in the further development of judo. 

Ahmed Ali Rajput, Secretary General, SOA, was prominent among those having attended the prize distribution ceremony.

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November 7, 2017

Sindh CM announces Rs100 million for hockey promotion


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) received a big financial boost as the Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, announced a grant of Rs 100 million for promotion and uplift of sport in the country and in the interior of Sindh.

“It’s a great gesture by Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah which was another proof of him being a sports-loving person. He has keen interest in the revival for the past glories of national hockey. He is fully aware of the rich history of Pakistan hockey and the accomplishments in Olympics, World Cups and other major events,” the PHF Secretary, Olympian Shahbaz Ahmed, disclosed after meeting the Chief Minister. 

“Ours was the most fruitful and beneficial meeting with the CM which was really big boost for hockey. He has promised his all out support and assistance in the promotion of the game in the province. He showed particular interest in promotion and development of hockey in the interior of Sindh,” the former Pakistan captain revealed. 

The announcement was made by Murad Ali Shah when three-member delegation led by the PHF President Brig (Retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar alongwith Shahbaz Ahmed and Tariq Hudda called on him at the CM House in Karachi.

Shahbaz Ahmed, who had successfully captained Pakistan to the World Cup triumph in 1994 at Sydney, informed the CM about the plans the PHF was working on the development, promotion and revival of national sport. 

Keeping in view the interest and support of Murad Ali Shah, the PHF Secretary said that they will be allocating National Seniors Hockey Championship as well as the National Schools Under-16 Hockey Championship to the Sindh Hockey Association. 

Shahbaz Ahmed, one of the greatest exponents of the game produced by Pakistan, expressed the confidence that holding the nationals and National School hockey will attract youngsters towards the game.

He said that the National School U-16 Hockey event will be held in newly laid turf at Bakht Ali Dahota Khairpur from November 15 under the auspices of the SHA in which 16 teams including four from Punjab, three from Sindh, two each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan and one each from Federal Territory Islamabad, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan will be taking part. 

Shahbaz Ahmed stated that history of sorts will be made when Sukkur will stage National Seniors Championship there from December 10 to 25 in which about 25 teams representing provinces and departmental teams would be in action for the crown. 

Shahbaz Ahmed emphasized that they were also focusing on the working and performance of the affiliated units of PHF particularly, the associations and they will be allocating the national events as per the performances and their organizational abilities.

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November 2, 2017

Sahibzada Sultan, Nadir Magsi in photo-finish at Gwadar Rally


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Sahibzada Sultan Mohammad Ali demonstrated vintage skills and speed to retain his ‘Prepared Class; title in Gwadar Off-Road Rally held as part of the Pakistan Motor Rally. 

The 33-year-old Jhang-based Sultan, a household name in motor racing in Pakistan, clocked 1 hr 14 min and 20 seconds on a 125-KM Track to emerge on the top in 84 racing drivers contest. Led by over 30-member workers team and driving 4500 CC Toyota Tacomo, 

Sahibzada Sultan displayed courage and masterly control over his vehicle and reasserted his supremacy on the national racing circuit. Nadir Magsi, Pakistan’s uncrowned king of motor racing settled for the second position with 1 hr 14 min 46 seconds while another leading driver Ronnie Patel of Toyota High Motors Karachi came third with 1 hr 16 min 12 seconds. 

The Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was the chief guest, distributed prizes at a glittering closing ceremony. The Balochistan Chief Minister, Sanaullah Zehri, was also present on the occasion. 

The Gwadar Rally was part of Pakistan Motor Rally conducted by Pakistan Army which had started from Pakistan-China border at Khunjerab and concluded in the country’s emerging port city of Gwadar after crossing through various cities including Karachi. 

“I felt some problems with my suspension when I hit a dune. But I kept a good speed on straight run. It was closest competition ever in my career,” Sahibzada Sultan told reporters after winning the race. 

The veteran Racing Driver Nadir Magsi declared it as one of the most exciting races as two minutes separated three top position holders which had never happened in the circuit before. 

“It was really thrilling and exciting finish despite having high blood pressure to me,” Nadir Magsi maintained. 

Toyota Highway Motors team in fact performed creditably in the Gwadar Rally as besides Ronnie Patel third spot in Prepared Class, his wife Tushna Patel won the ladies title while Talha Mansoor finished third in Stock “A” category. Tushna driving 4000 CC Vigo Highlux covered the distance in 1 hr 46 min 6 seconds while Momal Khan was second was second with 2 hr 11min 8 seconds. 

Following are results of different categories: 
Prepare Class: 1. Sahibzada Sultan Muhammad Ali 2. Nadir Magsi 3. Ronnie Patel 
Category B: 1. Zain Mehmood 2. Amir Magsi 3. Jam Kamal 
Category C: 1. Zaheer A Shah 2. Zafar Magsi 3. Gohar Sangi 
Category D: 1. Shaheen Iqbal 2. Aminullah 3. Zafar Baloch 

Stock Class: Category A: 1. Babar Khan 2. Tariq Magsi 3. Mansoor Haleem 
Category B: 1. Mir Hayat Sadiq Zai 2. Malik Manzoor 3. M Younus 
Category C: 1. Amir A Shah 2. Sardar Leghari 3. Nawaz Ali Sabir 
Category D: 1. Sohail Abbas Khurd 2. Mir Liquat Sherwani 3. Kaleem Khan

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October 28, 2017

Ronnie, Tusha to represent THM Sherwanis in Gwadar Rally


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The country’s top two racing drivers and the husband-wife pair of Ronnie Patel and Tusha Patel with two other teams will be representing Toyota High Motors (THM) Sherwanis in the Pakistan Motor Rally and the Gwadar Rally. 

Karachi’s Ronnie Patel, a veteran acclaimed racing driver of Pakistan, having won many titles in Cholistan, Jhal Magsi, Hub, Nooriabad, Gawadar Rallies is among top ranked drivers for the crown. 

The brilliant Ronnie will be driving Highlux Vigo and would be featuring in top Prepared Class category with navigator Ali Aden. 

“This is major event and I am looking forward to assert my supremacy in this rally,” he told reporters prior to team’s departure to Gwadar.

“Our aim and objective is promoting motor racing and patronize Pakistan best drivers,” Shujaat Sherwani, Chief Executive of THM said while announcing the names of their teams. 

“Our mission is always been to be part of all the top races of Pakistan,” he remarked. “Our teams have done in the past and we are looking forward to maintain our ascendancy in Gawadar Rally,” he commented. 

THM Sherwanis staged a major Max Dirt Rally in Hub in which Pakistan’s top racing took part. Mansoor Alim with Talha Kanwar will take part in Stock A Category in his 4,000 cc Toyota Vigo and Tushna Patel with be taking part with his navigator. 

The Gwadar Rally is part of Pakistan Rally which started from Pak-China border in Khunjerab few days ago.

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October 19, 2017

Mahmood Lodhi becomes Pakistan’s first chess GM


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Mahmood Lodhi, acclaimed as the greatest exponent of chess in the country, duly achieved the distinction of becoming the first-ever Grand Master as he won the 8th Asian Seniors Chess Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, recently.

“Achieving the GM title was my long team dream and I could not sleep for two nights after this accomplishment for Pakistan’” he told media at the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, Karachi, on his return from New Zealand. 

Due to a combination of factors, the newly crowned Grand Master didn’t get a befitting reception at the airport as not a single representative of the Chess Federation of Pakistan (CFP), the Sindh Chess Association (SCA) and the Karachi Chess Association (KCA) was there to welcome him. 

His buddy and International Master, Shahzad Mirza, greeted him alongwith an official of the Mind Sports Association of Pakistan (MSAP). 

“A couple of well-wishers and chess lovers provided me loan for a trip to New Zealand,” the 55-year-old Lodhi, hailing from Gujranwala, stated. 

“My appeal to the sports authorities of Pakistan to get me my PIA job restored which was terminated over 10 years ago without reasoning,” a record 15-time National Champion, jobless said. 

He called for support and better treatment to other sports persons for bringing honor and glory to the country. 

“If I get proper support from the government, I can bring the world title to Pakistan,” he commented. 

He expressed the hope that securing GM title change his struggling life and he will get support for featuring in GM international events. 

“GM in other countries gets great support and respect. But I am waiting for it to be happening in Pakistan,” he said. 

Besides dominating for Pakistan chess scene for over three decades, Mahmood Lodhi had represented Pakistan in over a dozen World Chess Olympiads.

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September 25, 2017

PHF initiatives for hockey revival hailed


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Former International Hockey player, Mubashir Mukhtar, has appreciated the efforts of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for revival of international hockey in Pakistan. 

In this regard he referred to organizing of Nishan-e-Haider Hockey tournament and arrival of the Hall of Fame World Eleven in Pakistan besides holding of Pakistan Super Hockey League next year will lead to complete revival of international matches in the country. 

Talking to PNFS, Mubashir, who is now serving as Director Sports in a private engineering university, was confident that the decisions and steps being taken by the PHF President, Brig (Rtd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, and the Secretary General, Olympian Shahbaz Ahmed, will enable Pakistan to regain its lost stature in the world of hockey. 

He observed that the successful talks held with the officials of PHF's Executive Committee in Dubai, have started yielding positive results and Nishan-e-Haider Hockey Tournament, in which eleven international goalkeepers will be participating, is the first step towards revival of international hockey in Pakistan. 

He said that it will be the first occasion when international hockey players will be participating in a country's domestic event. Similarly he expressed delight with the upcoming planned arrival of World Eleven in November this year will bring activity in the hitherto deserted grounds of Pakistan with the national team playing a three-match series with the World Eleven in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi. 

Thereafter in the next year holding of Pakistan Super Hockey League will not only help explore the new talent but also contribute to complete revival of international hockey in the country.

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September 9, 2017

AKU wins PMA Defence Day sports gala


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A number of events were organized in connection with the Defence Day of Pakistan across the country with the highlight of the day being the function held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to pay tribute to the martyrs. 

The Pakistan Marine Academy (PMA) organized the Defence Day Sports Gala at the Women Sports Complex, Gulshan-e-Iqbal in Karachi. 

As many as 14 educational institutions from all over the metropolis took part in five disciplines which included table tennis, badminton, volleyball, basketball and squash. 

Aga Khan University (AKU) emerged as the overall champions of the gala as its athletes came up with impressive all-round performance to run away with the trophy.

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), having enjoyed success in quite a few sporting contests in the recent past, took part in the men’s events of table tennis, badminton, volleyball and basketball. 

The SSUET claimed the runners-up spot in volleyball, bagged third position in table tennis and ended as losing semifinalists in badminton. 

The Deputy Mayor of Karachi, Arshad Vohra, distributed the prizes alongwith the Commandant PMA, Commodore Akbar Naqi, while the SSUET Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali, and the SSUET Additional Registrar, Mohammad Aamir, were also present in the ceremony.

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August 20, 2017

SSUET excels in Independence Day Swimming contest


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) excelled in the Independence Day Open Swimming Championship staged at the Defence Authority Creek Club to celebrate the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan. 

The SSUET took three medals in the event which was jointly organized by the Defence Authority Creek Club and the Pakistan Marine Academy. Mohammad Ahmed claimed silver medal in 50m freestyle and bronze medal in 50m butterfly while Hyder earned bronze in 100m breaststroke. 

The Convener of the Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT), Engr Syed Anwer Ali, who is also the Vice President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), honoured the members of the SSUET swimming team and congratulated them on their worthy efforts in the open championship contested by 14 institutes from all over the province.

The Sindh Sports Minister, Sardar Mohammad Baksh Khan Maher, was the chief guest in the prize distribution ceremony which was also attended by Secretary of the Defence Authority Creek Club, Brig Sajid Iqbal Jadoon, and Commodore Akbar Naqi, Commandant, Pakistan Marine Academy. 

The Independence Day Open Swimming Championship was recognized as a success story by the participants and the hosts were appreciated for having conducted the event nicely. 

In fact the Sindh Sports Minister was so much impressed with the facilities at the venue and he considered it to be an ideal host for future swimming competitions. 

Cake cutting also took place and it was followed by a flag retrieving ceremony, conducted with traditional fervor and enthusiasm.

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August 18, 2017

Rumman Raees sets SSUET alight


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) was set alight by the visit of left-arm fast bowler Rumman Raees, one of the heroes of the ICC Champions Trophy Cricket Tournament 2017, as part of the celebrations of Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day. 

The Convener of the Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT), Engr Syed Anwer Ali, who is also the Vice President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), greeted the cricket hero and described him as a role model for the youngsters. 

Engr Anwer Ali, himself an all-round cricketer of merit, lavishly praised the performance of Pakistan’s cricket team which saw them win the Champions Trophy in England against all odds.

Rumman Raees, who was one of three debutants in the tournament, performed exceedingly well in his only appearance and he was very rightly hailed as one of the heroes. 

“It’s in the fitness of things that the Champions Trophy winning Pakistani cricketers returned home to a heroic welcome wherever they went around. It was heartening to watch the fans thronging the airports and gathering outside their residences to celebrate the triumph,” Engr Anwar Ali reckoned. 

“All the members of the team deserved credit for having made the nation proud with their outstanding performance. From skipper Sarfraz Ahmed down to Rumman Raees all of them deserve to be hailed as heroes,” he added.

“The presence of Rumman Raees here at the SSUET has thrilled us and what an occasion he has chosen to be with us. His presence in the Independence Day celebrations has made all of us excited and ecstatic,” Engr Anwar Ali complimented. 

Rumman Raees is a welcome addition to the list of high quality left-arm fast bowlers produced by Pakistan. He had come to the limelight in the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2016 and he was duly rewarded with Pakistan debut in a T20 International against West Indies later the same year.

He turned out to one of the star performers of the second edition of the PSL in 2017 during which he picked up no less than a dozen wickets in just seven matches. He was chosen for the limited-overs leg of Pakistan's West Indies tour in April 2017 but was originally omitted from the Champions Trophy squad. 

It was the injury to Wahab Riaz during the course of the event in England which created a vacancy and Rumman Raees was drafted in as replacement. 

He made his memorable debut in One-day Internationals in the high voltage semifinal against England after Mohammad Aamir had to pull out at the eleventh hour due to back problems.

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SSUET clinches tug of war contest


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) emerged victorious in the Independence Day tug of war competition organized by the Karachi Tug of War Association (KTWA) at the Customs Sports Complex housed in Federal-B-Area. 

The SSUET won the Independence Day contest by overpowering Central Fitness Club who was soundly beaten in a couple of successive rounds. 

The Convener AIT, Engr Syed Anwer Ali, who is also the Vice President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), was the chief guest in the prize distribution ceremony. 

Engr Anwer Ali, himself an active sportsman, praised the efforts of the organizers in promoting the sport of tug of war which is an ancient athletic contest between two teams who haul at the opposite ends of a rope. 

He spoke about the significance of sports in building a healthy society, urging all the stakeholders to work jointly to achieve the common goal. 

The Secretary of the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA), Ahmed Ali Rajput, also attended the presenting ceremony alngwith the officials of the KTWA.

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August 4, 2017

SSUET edges out Virtual University in Independence Day Table Tennis series


Pakistan News & Features Services

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) edged out the Virtual University by two matches to one in the Independence Day Table Tennis series staged at the SSUET Gymnasium Hall. 

The Convener of the Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT), Engr Syed Anwer Ali, also the Vice President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), was the chief guest in the prize distribution ceremony. 

In his brief address on the occasion, Engr Anwer Ali, hailed as one of the pillars of the AMUOBA, recalled the sacrifices of the millions of Muslims of South Asia in the creation of Pakistan.

“The Independence Day reminds us of the great sacrifices of our ancestors who had made the creation of Pakistan possible. We salute them for having braved the toughest of circumstances and endured pains of all kinds for the sake of the newly founded country. We have derived inspiration from their selfless acts and I hope that our future generations will continue to be inspired by their services,” Engr Anwar Ali remarked. 

Himself a former first-class cricketer of high pedigree, he touched about the need to inculcate the famous Aligarhian sporting spirit among the youth of the country for letting them excel in sports as well as academics. The three-match table tennis series turned out be an absorbing one. 

The SSUET drew the first blood by winning the first match in straight sets but the Virtual University bounced back in the next match to set up an interesting decider. The third and final match was clinched by the hosts who also pocketed the series.

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July 28, 2017

Engr Anwer Ali desires to take AIT sports to top of the tree


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The Convener of the Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT), Engr Syed Anwer Ali, who is also the Vice President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), desires to inculcate the famous Aligarhian sporting spirit among the youth of the country to let them excel in sports and education. 

Himself a former first-class cricketer, who was a rare all-round talent being a high quality fast bowler as well as a top order batsman, Engr Anwer Ali remains committed to facilitate the AIT students in their quest for knowledge and sports excellence. 

“Sports used to be one of the strengths of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), established by the great Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, originally as the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. We are endeavoring to revive the same sports culture at our institutions here having been founded by AMUOBA to furthering the cause,” he remarked in a recent interview. 

It may recalled that the AIT, housed in Block 5 of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, was founded by the AMUOBA in 1989 and five years later they established the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) in the same arena. 

“During my tenure as Secretary Sports (2007-2011) I had turned it around at the SSUET which became proactive in sports and its students started winning laurels at all levels. Now having taken over as the Convener of the AIT in November 2015, I have been making efforts to lay a strong platform for sports studies in order to facilitate our students,” Engr Anwer Ali stated. 

“The majority of the students enrolled at the AIT are in the age group of 18 to 22 years and we are working accordingly to take care of their sports needs besides providing them the best possible facilities for studies. We are among the top educational institutions of the city and we are eager to expand our sports department,” he revealed. 

“We are planning to organize two different sports competitions at the All Karachi level during the current academic year. In the first festival there will be tournaments of cricket, hockey, football and basketball while the other festival will comprise of competitions in indoor games,” Engr Anwer Ali disclosed. 

“Our objective is to take the AIT to top of the tree in the field of sports too among the institutes affiliated to the Sindh Board of Technical Education (SBTE),” he declared. 

Engr Syed Anwer Ali heads the AIT Managing Committee being its Convener while the other members of the committee are Mohammad Arshad Khan, Mohammad Tariq Sabzwari, Mohammad Aijaz-ul-Yaqin, Syed Nasir Hussain, Iqbal Ahmed Siddiqui, Dr.Saleemuddin Chishti, Aslam Shah Khan and Syed Mohammad Munif.

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July 18, 2017

SSUET release sporting activities chronicle


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The sports activities at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, have remained an integral part of the schedule of their working since its establishment.

These activities have been taking place in accordance with the Aligarh spirit. The SSUET has laid great emphasis on physical fitness for the development of student‘s personality. Recently a chronicle of the activities of the SSUET students during the past couple of years in the field of sports has been compiled which documents their recent glories. 

According to the report, the SSUET achieved twin success in the IBA Sports Gala 2016-17 where its students won the cricket as well as the football tournaments. Then the SSUET secured first position in the qualifying rounds of the HEC All Pakistan Inter-Varsity Volleyball Championship 2016-17 while they made to the quarter-finals of the main event.

The SSUET emerged victorious in the HEC Inter-Varsity Hockey Championship 2016-17 as the edged out University of Karachi by a solitary goal in the final after having overpowered Iqra University 3-1 in the semifinals. 

They, however, lost to Punjab University in the quarter-finals of the main rounds. 

The SSUET clinched the All Karachi Inter-Varsity Cricket Tournament organized by Bahria University and participated by a dozen universities of the metropolis. They also won the Inter University Cricket Tournament organized by the NED University in 2016. 

They got second position in the clash of champions’ cricket tournament organized by NED University, losing out to Iqra University in the final. The International Sports Day for Peace & Development was celebrated with an exhibition volleyball match with the SSUET defeating the University of Karachi on their home turf.

The SSUET also featured in the HEC Inter-Varsity Basketball Championship 2016-17 where they down fighting to Greenwich University in the quarter-finals. 

The SSUET students also made their mark in the various weight categories of the HEC All Pakistan Inter-Varsity Boxing Championship 2016-17, organized by Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University, Karachi. 

The SSUET ended runners-up in the qualifying rounds HEC All Pakistan Inter-Varsity Badminton Championship 2016-17. They also participated in the All Pakistan Intervarsity Judo Championship 2016-17 held at Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam. 

The SSUET organized Pakistan Day exhibition hockey match in which outclassed Hamdard University 4-1 at the UBL Sports Complex.
They finished as the runners-up among 20 participating universities of Karachi in the PMA Inter-University Sports Gala 2017 held at the Pakistan Marine Academy as they were triumphant in hockey, football and volleyball tournaments while they were edged out in the semifinals of cricket and basketball competitions. 

The SSUET, as per directives of the HEC, hosted the Inter-Varsity Zone-G Football Tournament in January 2017. The five-day tournament, contested by 15 teams, turned out to be an organizational success story. They had also organized the Jashan-e-Azadi Inter-University Cricket Tournament in 2016 in which the top 12 outfits of the city took part. They ended runners-up after being overpowered by Hamdard University in the final. 

The SSUET, with the collaboration of the Sindh Sports Journalists Association, organized a seminar on the topic of state of sports in Pakistan at the campus which was well attended.

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June 13, 2017

Olympian Jaseem Khan visits Alma Mater


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The captain of the Pakistan hockey team, Olympian Jaseem Khan, who remained a student of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, and obtained an engineering degree from the institution, visited his Alma Mater. 

On the occasion he met Chancellor Jawaid Anwar and Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammed Afzal Haq besides Registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali, Dean of Engineering Prof Dr Altaf, Faculty Chairpersons and other university officials. 

The Chancellor eulogized the services of Jaseem Khan and described him a special talent which emerged from the SSUET and became a national asset. 

Wishing him all the best in his future career, Chancellor Jawaid Anwar presented him the university's souvenir The Director Sports SSUET, Mubbashir Mukhtar, Javed Iqbal and Asif Zaheer were also present on the occasion.

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May 26, 2017

Pakistan’s forgotten sports heroes honoured


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan’s forgotten national sports heroes in boxing, cycling and football who brought glories to the country in Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and other international competitions were honoured at a grand function organised by Sherwani Sports Trust on May 25.

Those who to be honoured on the occasion included Olympic boxer and Asian and CW Games medal winner Meherullah Lassi, South Asian Boxing Games Champion Rasheed Qambrani. 

Financial assistance was also extended to to distressed sportsmen of yesteryears and the beneficiaries included boxer Azeem Jan, cyclist Sher Haider, footballers Jan Mohammad Baloch, Mohammad Sharif and Jafar Alam and former Olympic referee/judge Ali Akbar Shah. 

They were also awarded shields and mementos as a token of acknowledgement of their heroic feats Sherwani Motors set a noble example by distributing cash awards worth Rs 200, 000 among the needy sportsmen. 

In an emotional discourse, the 2002 Busan Asian Games gold medalist Meherullah Lassi complimented and lauded Sherwani Trust for coming forward and supporting and assisting those neglected sportsmen mostly from Lyari area. 

“They may be from the past but continue to be counted as national heroes and deserve respect and support from the nation,” he observed. 

He hoped that more organizations will feel their responsibilities towards the neglected heroes in the field of sports and follow this noble gesture demonstrated by Sherwani Sports Trust and assist these poor, needy and jobless sportsmen.

“The basic purpose of holding this program was to support and assist those needy sportsmen, who were neglected despite their achievements for Pakistan,” Shujaat Sherwani, the chairman of the trust, stated. 

“We are really honoured with the presence of galaxy of international sportsmen with us. It’s the duty of the society to support these great men, who served the country bringing honor and dignity in international sports arena. It is always a great sight and feeling when Pakistan flag is raised and national anthem is played at the international stage,” he said in an emotional tone. 

Shujaat Sherwani also announced scholarships to highly talented boys and girls, specially from Lyari who may show bright prospects for the country in coming months. 

Describing the assistance extended as meager token assistance for financially distressed sportsmen, Shujaat said our dream is that Pakistan should regain its lost glory in hockey and other sports in Asian Games and Olympics. 

Shujaat Sherwani pointed out that in order to achieve the cherished objective he was also running a free cricket academy and hockey club and staged Motorsports Really in Hub and Nooriabad in recent months. 

Speaking on the occasion Justice (Rtd) Zafar Sherwani, who was the guest of honour, expressed his delighted to be standing among the heroes of the country, reckoning that sports can play a vital role in the development of youth of the nation. 

Justice Zafar expressed dismay that Pakistan once a great sporting nation of the continent failed to win a single medal in Muslim Solidarity Games held in Baku where small host nation Azerbaijan emerged on the top. 

On the occasion Meherullah and Rasheed Qambrani also planted trees as part of the ongoing Go Green Karachi slogan.

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May 22, 2017

KG Ramazan Festival’s prizemoney enhanced


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The prize money of the 32nd edition of the Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2017 for the Omar Associates Trophy, due to start here at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground on the first day of Ramazan, has been enhanced substantially. 

According to the details unveiled by the Tournament Director, Jam Nafees Ali, during the media briefing here at the Karachi Gymkhana on May 22, the categories for cash awards has been increased and the total prize money of the four-week event, whose final will be played on 28th of Ramazan, will be Rupees 14 lacs and 63 thousand, which is the highest in the 31-year-old history of the tournament. 

The champions will be getting Rs seven lacs and the runners-up will be collecting Rs three lacs fifty thousand with the losing semifinalists will be receiving Rs 50,000 each. The new categories of awards being introduced are for the most boundaries, most catches and most wickets in every match which will be in addition to Man of the Match awards. 

The tournament is being sponsored by Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, the promoters of Quetta Gladiators, Omar Cricket Club and Omar Colts, who have also been managing veterans and women’s teams besides having its regular team which plays national-level tournaments, for the fourth year running.

In his welcome address, the Karachi Gymkhana President, Fawad Salim Malik, described the club as the premier sports and social club of the country, having been established more than 125 years ago. To a question, he disclosed that the Gymkhana management was working the plans to install floodlights at their cricket ground later this year. 

Speaking on the occasion, Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates, welcomed the participation of the co-sponsors in the tournament hoped that other corporations and institutions will also come forward for patronizing sports. 

“The Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival has remained a most sought after tournament in which many future greats were discovered. The promising cricketers from all over the country get an opportunity to showcase their talents and those performing well get headstart to their career,” he added. 

Riazuddin, an international umpire and member of the technical committee, disclosed that all the T20 rules and regulations of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), including Duckworth-Lewis method for shortened matches, will be applied during the tournament. 

As in the past, tournament will be contested by a total of 16 teams, having been divided equally in four groups for the preliminary rounds. This includes quite a new teams like Dubai Hawks XI, Acme Technologies, Mangus Sports, New Al Habib Cricket Club, Friends Cricket Club (Kandhkot) and Opera Cricket Club, who will be making their debut in the competition. 

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout phase, starting with quarter-finals on the 21st day of Ramazan. Omar CC has been drawn in the Group A alongwith Dubail Hawks XI, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Advance Telecom while the Group B comprises of Karachi Gymkhana Whites, Dollar East, Mohammad Hussain Cricket Club and Acme Technologies. 

The Group C contains Eaton CC, Magnus Sports, Sojhla Cricket Academy (Dera Ghazi Khan) and New Al Habib CC while the Group D will be Tapal CC, Heroes CC (Quetta), Friends CC (Kandhkot) and Opera CC.

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