June 20, 2018

Abdul Majid Khan: The gentleman journalist is no more


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The sports journalist fraternity of Pakistan has lost its oldest surviving member with the passing away of Abdul Majid Khan. He died in his home city of Karachi on June 14. He was 90.

Although he had been writing and reporting rather sparingly in the last few years of his life, he often visited the Karachi Press Club (KPC), an institution which was very dear to his heart. 

But he had written extensively in a professional career spanning more than half a century. He was one of the most well-read journalists of the country as he worked for Dawn, the iconic English newspaper, for a number of decades. 

Although he covered every conceivable sport but tennis and squash remained his forte. He knew inside out about these two games in particular and his depth of knowledge was incredible. 

Majid Bhai and Khan Sahib, to his colleagues and friends, he epitomized ethics and professionalism. 

Like any other human being on the planet he also had a circle of friends but he was one man who was thought to have never compromised while discharging duties.

Interestingly a few of his own colleagues, with whom he shared the newsroom, had the firebrand reputation but he was as cool as cucumber. 

He was hardly ever noticed arguing or fighting with anyone. Considering the fact that Dawn remained the number one English daily to be published from Pakistan in almost the entire length of his service, he was never heard to have misused his authority or anything remotely close to it which is quite remarkable if not unbelievable in a society where he lived and worked. 

His cool temperament was also reflected in his writings. He reported the most controversial of incidents in an objective manner without adding fuel to fire or taking sides. 

Another outstanding quality which he possessed was his willingness to guide and even mentor newcomers in the profession without seeking any reward. 

He was truly a selfless man who believed in honesty at all times. He was polite and humble to juniors as well as to those contemporaries of his who belonged to different school of thought. 

He will surely be remembered and missed. His gentlemanly acts in a profession as volatile as journalism will never be forgotten. Hopefully the flame he has lit will be taken care of in the years to come.

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June 13, 2018

Omar Cricket Club edge out Qasmi Gymkhana to regain KG title


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Omar Cricket Club regained the title by edging out Qasmi Gymkhana by three runs in a thrilling final of the 33rd Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2018 for the Omar Associates Trophy at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground on June 13.

It was in the fitness of things that the title clash turned out to be the most exciting of all 31 matches of the tournament. With four runs needed on the last ball it was anybody’s game until the very end. 

Omar CC, fielding with 10 men only, controlled its nerves better to be the deserved winners of the trophy. 

The champions, Omar CC, felt hard done, however, at the controversial decision of the umpires, Riazuddin and Muhammad Shakil, for not having allowed them a substitute fielder in place of Umar Akmal and they had to field with 10 men for the better part of their opponents’ innings.

Put into bat, Omar CC had to be content with a total of 179 for nine in the allotted 20 overs. Fine knocks from opener Ahsan Ali (44 off 25 balls), Rameez Raja (44 off 21 balls) and Danish Aziz (45 off 35 balls) allowed them to reach 110 at the halfway stage but they were unable to make the most of it. 

Qasmi Gymkhana fought back through the spin duo of Hasan Sardar (3-18) and Wasim Ali (2-41) with medium-pacer Kamran Hussain (2-26) also bowling well to limit the damage.

Set to score 180 in 20 overs, Qasmi Gymkhana got off to a sluggish start, scoring 70 in the first 10 overs and losing four wickets. But breezy knocks from Kamran Hussain (41 off 21 balls) and Faizan Ahmed (25 off 13 balls) opened up the game ensuring a tight finish. 

Left-arm spinners Muhammad Asghar (3-18), named Man of the Match, and Irfan Gohar (3-37) played the lead role in restricting Qasmi Gymkhana to 176 for eight off 20 overs. 

Nadeem Omar, President, Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), who was the chief guest in the prize distribution ceremony, presented the winners’ trophy to the Omar CC skipper, Saad Nasim, alongwith a purse of Rupees eight lacs while a cheque of Rupees four lacs was collected with the runners-up trophy by the Qasmi Gymkhana captain, Abid Qasmi.

Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, former Chief Executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), and Mazhar Iqbal Puri, President, Karachi Gymkhana, were also present in the ceremony. 

Usman Khan of Omar CC was declared Man of the Tournament while Bilal Irshad (Qasmi Gymkhana), Faraz Ahmed Khan (Omar CC), Rameez Raja (Omar CC) and Hasan Mustafa (Qasmi Gykhahana) were adjudged as best batsman, bowler, fielder and wicketkeeper respectively. 

The total prize money of the tournament, sponsored by Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd for the sixth year running with Agha Steel Industries, Acme Technologies and Zaraiz Atelier being the co-sponsors, was well over Rs 16 lacs which included individual awards of Rs 313,000.

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June 6, 2018

Omar Associates regain Naya Nazimabad trophy


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Omar Associates regained the trophy by toppling National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) by 29 runs in the final of the 5th Naya Nazimabad Ramazan Cup Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2018 under floodlights, at the Hussain Lawai Stadium in Karachi on June 4.

Opener Usman Khan smashed a breezy 71 and all-rounder Muhammad Nawaz followed up his rapid 29 with a three-wicket haul to engineer yet another title victory for Omar Associates, who had also clinched the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2014. 

The ground was already packed to capacity when Omar Associates chose to bat first after winning the toss. 

They entertained the crowd with sizzling strokes and piled up a huge total of 201 for seven in the allotted 20 overs. 

Openers Umar Akmal and Usman Khan gave their team a flying start by blasting 64 in the six overs of power play. Umar slammed two sixes and five boundaries in his 46 off 28 balls. 

The momentum was maintained despite losing three quick wickets in space of six balls for just one run. Bilal Asif took two wickets on successive balls that of Umar and Sami-ur-Rahman for golden duck while Saad Nasim was dislodged by Sohail Tanvir also for a duck which had reduced Omar Associates to 67 for three. 

Usman, however, batted brilliantly under pressure and hoisted four sixes besides belting half a dozen boundaries in his 71 off 36 balls to lift his team’s total. In the end Nawaz plundered 26 off 12 balls with three massive sixes and one four to set a difficult task for their opponents. 

NBP, in reply, was restricted to 172 for eight in their 20 overs despite the heroics of opener Ahsan Ali who topscored with 21-ball 42 laced with three sixes and four fours. Raza Dar banged three sixes in his 37 and Bilal Asif hoisted three sixes in his 11-ball cameo of 22. 

Left-arm spinner Muhammad Nawaz caused the main trouble for the bankers by grabbing three wickets for 26 runs while medium-pacer Anwar Ali snapped up two wickets for 24 runs. 

The Governor of Sindh, Muhammad Zubair, was the chief guest in the ceremony which was presided over by the former Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi. Also present on the occasion were Nadeem Omar, President-Elect, Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), and Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib. 

The chief guest presented a glittering trophy alongwith a cash award of Rupees 12 lacs to the winning captain, Saad Nasim, while the runner-up trophy was collected by the NBP skipper, Bilal Asif, with a purse of Rupees six lacs. 

The Rupees 40,000 Man of the Match award for the final was shared between Usman Khan and Muhammad Nawaz of Omar Associates. 

Bilal Asif was declared the player of the tournament for his all-round excellence while Sahibzada Farhan and Zafar Gohar, both of them from Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), were adjudged best batsman and the bowler of the tournament respectively. The trio received Rs 25, 000 each.

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June 5, 2018

Nikhil Dutta tops list of locals in GlobalT20 Canada draft


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

As many as 20 Canadian players among strong contingent from associate member nations were drafted by cricket luminaries for inaugural Global T20 Canada scheduled to be staged in Toronto from June 28 to July 15.

The Toronto off-spinner Nikhil Dutta’s selection marked a landmark moment for the sport of cricket in Canada. Dutta, a member of Canada’s men’s national team, was selected in the seventh round for a $25,000 salary, confirming the 23-year old’s reputation as Canada’s top player. 

He leads a group of 21 Canadian players drafted by the league’s five Canadian franchise teams, Toronto Nationals, Vancouver Knights, Edmonton Royals, Montreal Tigers and Winnipeg Hawks. 

“I feel honoured to be drafted in Global T20 Canada and excited to be playing with all the coveted players from international cricket.This tournament will provide great exposure for Canadian cricket and give opportunities for up and coming players to play with the big players, and gain valuable experience,” Dutta remarked on the occasion. 

The 21 Canadians, along with 11 other players from Associate Member nations, give Associate Member nations one-third of the total player pool (32 of 96), a higher proportion than the world’s other top professional Twenty20 leagues.

The United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), Nepal, Bermuda and Hong Kong account for the 11 players, with notable selections including Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal, 6th round), Babar Hayat (UAE, 7th round) and Ali Khan (USA., 9th round). 

The proportion signifies Global T20 Canada’s focus on cricket development as players from Associate Member nations will have an opportunity to play at the highest level alongside the sport’s top stars and minds. 

Each team was required to have four Canadians on its roster and select two players from Associate Member nations. 

“This is an exciting time for Canadian cricket, and cricket development around the world with many players participating from Associate Member nations. Normally players from these countries don’t get a chance to play at this level with the types of marquee players we have, so the game is going global, and this is where Global T20 Canada stands out,” Tournament Director, Jason Harper, observed. 

Dutta, who was born in Kuwait, has a solid international Twenty20 resume with stints in Pakistan Premier League for Barisal Bulls and St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in Caribbean Premier League. He joins West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy, a two-time ICC World T20 champion, who will helm the Toronto Nationals.

Sammy, along with international stars Chris Gayle (Vancouver Knights/West Indies), Lasith Malinga (Montreal Tigers/Sri Lanka), Shahid Afridi (Edmonton Royals/Pakistan) and Dwayne Bravo (Winnipeg Hawks/West Indies) will lead the five franchises.

Tournament organizer Mercuri Canada Ltd. also invited international marquee players David Miller (Winnipeg Hawks/South Africa), Chris Lynn (Edmonton Royals/Australia), Sunil Narine (Montreal Tigers/West Indies) and Andre Russell (Vancouver Knights/West Indies). Australian Steve Smith, making his return to pro cricket since his suspension by Cricket Australia, will play for Toronto.

Overall, 80 players were chosen over 16 rounds by the five Canadian franchise teams. They hail from 19 different countries and were selected from a pool of over 1,500 cricketers that registered from 40-plus countries around the world.

Five of cricket’s luminaries, Phil Simmons (Toronto Nationals), Donovan Miller (Vancouver Knights), Mohammad Akram (Edmonton Royals), Tom Moody (Montreal Tigers) and Waqar Younis, (Winnipeg Hawks), will be coaching the teams.

Each team selected 16 players with four roster spots designated for Canadians, keeping with Global T20 Canada’s mandate to advance the development of cricket in Canada.

“Global T20 is an unprecedented opportunity for Canada’s best players to develop under the mentorship of some of the sport’s great minds. Canadian cricket and sports fans will get an opportunity to see our cricketers play alongside the world’s best, and that should have a significant impact on the performance of Canada’s men’s national team in future international competitions,” Ranjit Saini, President, Cricket Canada, declared.

The tournament’s sixth squad, Cricket West Indies Representative Team, will exclusively consist of Caribbean players selected by Cricket West Indies, the region’s governing body of cricket.

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Waqar, Moody, Simmons join GlobalT20 Canada as coaches


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Three of the vastly experienced cricket coaches, Waqar Younis of Pakistan, Tom Moody of Australia and Phil Simmons of the West Indies, have joined the inaugural Global T20 Canada set to take place in Toronto from June 28 to July 15. 

They are among the biggest names of international cricket, having proven track record in coaching. Their presence to guide the Canadian franchise teams will certainly add value to the landmark tournament. 

According to the details made available by the organizers, Waqar, a legendary fast bowler and a former Pakistan captain, who also coached the national team, will now be coaching Winnipeg Eagles while Moody, an enterprising Australian all-rounder, and ex-coach of Sri Lanka, will be associated with Montreal Tigers.

The former West Indian all-round Simmons, who was the coach when his national team won the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India, will be coaching Toronto Nationals. Mohammad Akram, another former Pakistan fast bowler and coach of Pakistan Super League franchise, Peshawar Zalmi, will now also be coaching Edmonton Royals while Donovan Miller, a renowned Jamaican coach, will be on duty for Vancouver Knights. 

Aside from two of the 10 marquee players announced on May 24, each coach will select 14 additional players for their team from a vast talent pool. In just two weeks, over 1,500 players from Canada and around the world had registered for selection.

“I look forward to this experience. I have fond memories of playing in Toronto in the 1990s. I still remember the kind of excitement it created at that time and this time it should be no different. Global T20 has announced some magnificent names as marquee players," Waqar was quoted as saying recently. 

"I am looking forward to the draft and making a well-balanced side for my franchise, Winnipeg Eagles,” he added.

“This is truly a wonderful opportunity for the game in Canada and North America. I am delighted to be involved as one of the head coaches of the league. I will do everything possible in my role to support the success of this tournament,” Moody remarked.
“Competition like this in the North America region is very much the need of the hour to strengthen the development of the game in an associate country like Canada. I am looking forward to sharing my coaching experience with Toronto Nationals and would like to congratulate Cricket Canada and Global T20 Canada for this initiative,” Simmons observed. 

Besides the celebrated coaches, the marquee players of the tournament would be Chris Gayle (West Indies), Steve Smith (Australia), Andre Russell (West Indies), Sunil Narine (West Indies), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Chris Lynn (Australia), Darren Sammy (West Indies), David Miller (South Africa), Lasinth Malinga (Sri Lanka) and Dwayne Bravo (West Indies).

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May 25, 2018

IPL thrills but kills; Kohli’s injury jeopardizes India’s chances of overseas success


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Only time and honest assessment will tell if the Indian Premier League (IPL), launched with great fanfare by Lalit Modi and company in 2008, has done more good to the Indian cricket in particular and the game of cricket in general or has it inflicted more harm.

11 seasons into the IPL and the damage caused has been phenomenal. 

It has certainly boosted the bank balance of the already cash-rich Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) but this has come at a huge cost. 

India’s performances in the international matches, most notably in Tests, have suffered immensely despite the fact that they are currently ranked number one team in the ICC ratings for the longer version of the game. 

They were already the top ranked Test side when the IPL thing occurred in 2008. They had already won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 which resulted in the establishment of the IPL. They were already among the top performing ODI sides, packed with megastars around that time, having won the triangular series in Australia in 2007-08.

Isn’t it ironical to note that since the advent of the IPL, India have not won a single edition of World T20! India’s title triumph in the 2011 World Cup at home was made possible by the players who already were stars in their own right before the IPL had come into being.

So what good has the IPL done in improving India’s performance in international matches across all formats? 

Hasn’t the BCCI done a disservice to have bound all its cricketers for a couple of months to play for cash at the expense of national interest? 

The latest casualty is none other than the indomitable Virat Kohli. 

Although the BCCI had tried to downplay it, the fact of the matter is that the Indian got injured while playing the ongoing edition of the IPL and he has become a doubtful starter for the all-important tour of England starting next month. 

While all his foes and their cronies have struggled to find a way to dislodge Kohli, over the years, the BCCI has done the trick by getting him on verge of being sidelined. 

If Kohli, the Indian captain, misses any part of the upcoming England tour it will be another slap on the face of the BCCI officials who must be tried for having committed a serious offence. 

Since the Supreme Court appointed committee has been looking after Indian cricket of late it has become their responsibility to try those who have played foul and compromised on national interest.

The damage has already been done. Kohli’s county stint, which was aimed at giving him a better chance to acclimatize to the English conditions prior to the challenging tour, has been cancelled with a neck injury suffered during his penultimate IPL on May 17. 

It has been announced officially that Kohli will not be training for the next three weeks with a BCCI press release saying he will only resume on June 15 at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. 

He will then undergo a fitness test before he flies out for the tour of Ireland and England in late June. India’s chances of succeeding in England will be seriously jeopardized in the prevailing conditions. 

Even if he makes it to the team, he will be out of match practice for long and expecting him to regain the Midas touch right away will be a bit too much.

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May 16, 2018

Asghar Valika urges for enhancing snooker rewards


By Ehsan Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The pioneer and key promoter of snooker in Pakistan, Ali Asghar Valika, has called for enhancing the prize money in the national circuit and take it to millions so that the country could sustain its supremacy in the international arena.

“The manner in which the game has progressed and the consistency with which the Pakistani cueists have performed at the world and the Asian level the prize money of the national events merits considerable enhancement to keep them motivated,” Asghar Valika, a former President of the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS), observed in an interview at the Karachi Club on May 15. 

“There is no major increase in the incentives and prize money for almost a decade now. We must offer at least Rupees one million as prize money in every event to make the circuit more competitive and thus raise the standard of the game,” he suggested. 

Having headed the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) for a couple of decades from 1988 to 2008, he didn’t mince words in stating the enhancement of prize money of national tournaments was the need of the hour. 

“Our brilliant cueists have achieved excellence in the game with a couple of world individual titles besides two team titles. They are a force to be reckoned with at the Asian level,” Asghar Valika, under whose leadership took the game to new heights in Pakistan, remarked. 

The legendary Muhammad Yousuf had made the major breakthrough by winning the IBSF World Championship in South Africa in 1994 before clinching the Asian title at Karachi in 1998.

Asghar Valika was of the opinion that the PBSA should curtail their administrative expenses and only one official should accompany the team and also manage the team and being the delegate. 

He also advised the PBSA to make money through televised matches. He dispelled the impressions of disharmony in PBSA Executive Committee after Munawwar Hussain Shaikh took over from Alamgir Anwar Shaikh after his two terms as the President. 

Asghar Valika said that Pakistan desperately needed a permanent coach who should train, groom and tactically prepare our cueists for international level. 

“Our cueists are doing well at the international level and international coach can further harness their game and mentally toughen them,” he added. 

Responding to a question, he said he doesn’t need recognition from anyone and feels proud and satisfied with whatever he contributed for the game of snooker in Pakistan. 

“I don’t need any reward or award because achievement of players during my era and now make me happy and satisfied that they brought honor and glory to the country,” Asghar Valika said. 

He made it clear that he was elected as the Life Chairman of PBSA by General Body and not by the executive committee. 

Asghar Valika showed his disappointment over the fact that no national snooker activity was taking place at Karachi Club’s Amir Bakhsh Billiards Hall which used to be the hub of Pakistan Snooker in the past. 

“Snooker activity at Karachi Club was stopped due to misunderstanding and efforts are afoot for it revival there. The Latif Masters should also be revived as it was a major event held in memory of Pakistan’s greatest billiards player, who finished runners-up in world championship in India,” he continued. 

He recalled that PBSA struggled in early 1980s but sponsorship and support of Red & White and its marketing head, Shahid Ahmad Khan, changed the destiny of Pakistan snooker. 

Asghar Valika, who remained the boss of Asian body for six years, said that holding of Asian Snooker in Karachi in 1991 and later staging of IBSF World Snooker Championship made Muhammad Yousuf, Yasin Merchant, Pradit Chuchat (Thailand) household names after matches were nationally live televised. 

He wanted the PSBA to must open up and induct peoples from other provinces in their fold and also hold a couple of event outside Karachi. 

“Snooker should not be confined to Karachi and events should be held in other provincial capitals as well on rotation basis,” he concluded

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May 10, 2018

President-elect Nadeem Omar set to take KCCA to higher level


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The President-elect of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), Nadeem Omar, has already set the ball rolling by getting in touch with the concerned quarters for implementing his plans aimed at reviving the game in a big way.

He has been elected unopposed as the KCCA President as he enjoyed overwhelming electoral support prompting his predecessor and challenger Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui to withdraw his candidature the other day. 

The notification in this regard from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is being awaited and it may be delayed until polling for the slot of the KCCA Secretary is held in a few weeks. 

Nadeem Omar, a veteran sports promoter and a cricket administrator, having founded and managed successful cricket teams like Omar Associates, Omar Cricket Club and Capricorn Discount Cards, besides Quetta Gladiators, has begun his journey of transforming the KCCA into a bigger entity than it was ever before. 

The KCCA President-elect shared some of the exciting plans he has worked out to revolutionize the KCCA. He has already started making moves towards his strategic plan, covering nearly aspect of the game. 

The development of a new structure of cricket for Karachi features prominently on his agenda as he plans to have the KCCA managed as professionally as any other modern cricket association anywhere in the world. 

“First and foremost I have set the goal of reviving the KCCA Stadium in North Nazimabad. I plan to install floodlights at the ground besides improving the condition of the stadium. This would be the home of Karachi cricket,” he declared. 

“Secondly I have already spoken to the PCB to let the KCCA gets its share of space at the National Stadium where I intend to build a library and museum of Karachi cricket apart from setting up the High Performance Centre with the KCCA Academy. There are vacant spaces within the compound of the National Stadium and the KCCA is interested in using it,” Nadeem Omar disclosed. 

He has the plans for revitalizing the club cricket, with the help of its seven zones, on a war footing. He’s equally eager to launch proper cricket tournaments for schools, colleges and universities with the collaboration of the local education departments in order to engage a larger pool of students. 

“I would be interested in exposing the youngsters to matches of longer duration from an early age so that they face no problems when graduating to first-class cricket. We will have annual tournaments of three-day matches as well as T20 events,” he added. 

His plans include the development of news complexes containing a full-fledged cricket grounds where first-class matches could be played besides reviving the historic grounds like the Karachi Parsi Institute (KPI) where the legendary Hanif Muhammad played that epic knock of 499. 

Nadeem Omar emphasized on quickly developing and uploading a state-of-the-art website of the KCCA, to be updated on a daily basis, which would have details about coaches, umpires, scorers, clubs, departments, grounds, rules, women’s tournaments besides other features of general interest.

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May 1, 2018

Efforts to promote baseball in Sindh


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB), working for the promotion of baseball at grassroots level, has lately shown interest in development of sports in the province of Sindh. 

Syed Fakhar Ali Shah, President, PFB, has recently undertaken a tour of Karachi for the purpose of promoting the game in Sindh. 

He met with Vice Chancellors of different universities in Karachi to introduce Baseball game at university level. Prof Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, Vice Chancellor, NED University of Engineering and Technology, appreciated the efforts of the PFB for the promotion of baseball in Sindh.

He assured his full support to prepare his university baseball team for the participation in Inter-varsity Baseball Championship. 

He requested the PFB President to organize an exhibition match after Eid-ul-Fitr in Karachi to introduce baseball among students. 

The PFB President offered to provide baseball equipment as well as a coach to the NED University. 

Prof Dr Muhammad Afzal Haque, Vice Chancellor, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), was also appreciative of the efforts of Pakistan Federation Baseball for the promotion of baseball in Sindh.

He assured his full support to prepare his university baseball team for the participation in Inter-varsity Baseball Championship. 

The PFB President volunteered to provide baseball equipment and a coach to the SSUET. 

Syed Fakhar Ali Shah also met with Muhammad Altaf Tai, Chairman, Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD), Southern Region. 

The ABAD official vowed to support and help in the promotion of baseball particularly its national and international events in Pakistan. 

The PFB President also donated baseball equipment to the Sindh Baseball Association (SBA) to encourage them for working more proactively for the promotion of the game in the province.

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March 11, 2018

Army edge out WAPDA to win National Baseball Championship 2018


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan Army edged out Pakistan WAPDA 8-6 in the final of the 23rd Khawar Shah National Baseball Championship 2018, held at Bahria Town, Lahore, under the auspices of the Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB), on March 10.

Pakistan Army, Pakistan WAPDA and Pakistan clinched gold, silver and bronze medals respectively in the six-day event dedicated to the late Syed Khawar Shah, a former President of the federation in recognition of his monumental services to the game of baseball. 

The gold medal match consisted of nine innings. Saqib and Majeed scored two runs each for Army while Arsalan Jamshaid, Ubaidullah, Faqir Hussain and Nazir Ahmed contributed a run each. Arsalan Jamshaid, Faqir Hussain and Nazir Ahmed hit home runs for their team. 

For WAPDA Fazal ur Rehman and Zakir Afridi scored a couple of runs each, Burhan Johar and Zubair Nawaz contributed one run each while Zakir Afridi hit two home runs for his team. 

Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Syed Arif Hassan, President, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), was the chief guest in the final. He distributed medals among winners in the presentation ceremony. 

Shaukat Javed Chairman, PFB, Muhammad Khalid Mahmood, Secretary General, POA, Brig. Ghulam Jilani, Director, Army Sports, and Muhammad Jamil Ahmad Rana, Secretary General, Pakistan Tug of War Federation, were also present on the occasion. 

Syed Fakhar Ali Shah, President, PFB, and Executive Director, Bahria Town Lahore, welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries. Brig. Ghulam Jilani awarded bronze medals to the Pakistan Police Team, Shaukat Javed presented silver medals to Pakistan WAPDA team and Lt Gen Syed Arif Hassan gave away gold medals and the championship trophy to Pakistan Army baseball team. 

Muhammad Usman, pitcher of Pakistan WAPDA, was adjudged Man of the Tournament award, named after Khawar Shah, and he received it from the chief guest. 

Talking to the media, Lt. Gen Arif Hassan, President, POA, appreciated the performance of both teams and desired that the Pakistan baseball team earned laurels for Pakistan from abroad. 

He reckoned that there was a marked improvement in the development of baseball in Pakistan under the supervision of new leadership. 

Syed Fakhar Ali Shah, President, PFB, informed that they will hold national training camp of the Pakistan baseball team at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad, to prepare for participation in Asian Games 2018 to be staged in Indonesia.

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March 8, 2018

Army, WAPDA enter final of National Baseball Championship 2018


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan Army and Pakistan WAPDA have qualified for the final of the 23rd Khawar Shah National Baseball Championship 2018, being held at Bahria Town, Lahore, under the auspices of the Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB). 

The gold medal match will be taking place on March 10. Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Syed Arif Hassan, President, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), will be the chief guest in the final and distribute medals among winners in the presentation ceremony.

The six-day event has been dedicated to the late Syed Khawar Shah, a former President of the federation in recognition of his monumental services to the game of baseball. 

Meanwhile Pakistan Police secured bronze medal by defeating Punjab 10-0 in the playoff for third position. 

Atif, Yasir, Saleem Haider and Muzammil scored two runs each and Abdullah and Arfan contributed one run each for the winning side.

The Man of the Match award was clinched by Tariq Nadeem of Pakistan Police as he had pitched very well and did not allow the Punjab players to score any run against him. 

Syed Fakhar Ali Shah, President, PFB, and Director, Bahria Sports, was the chief guest on the fourth Day of the championship. Muhammad Mohsin Khan, Senior Vice President, PFB, welcomed the chief guest who was introduced to the players.

Earlier, a couple of matches were held on the third day. In the first game Pakistan Army trounced Pakistan Police 21-0. 

Faqir Hussain scored four runs while Arsalan Jamshaid, Ubaidullah and Muhammad Rafi scored three runs each, Hidayatullah, Saqib Khan and Mazhar scored two runs each and Nazir and Waseem contributed one run each. 

Pakistan WAPDA overcame Punjab 16-2 in the other match. For WAPDA Umair Bhatti score 4 runs, Zaheer topscored for WAPDA with three runs, Muhammad Waseem, Fazal-ur-Rehman and Zubair Nawaz scored two runs each and Sumair Zawar, Burhan Johar, Adnan Butt and Zakir Afridi contributed one run each. For Punjab, Usman and Usama score one run each. For WAPDA Umair Imdad Bhatti also hit a home run.

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March 7, 2018

National Baseball Championship 2018 underway in Lahore


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
 (Pakistan News & Features Services)

The 23rd Khawar Shah National Baseball Championship 2018 has got underway at Bahria Town, Lahore, being staged under the auspices of the Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB). 

A couple of more matches were held on the second day of the six-day event. Idris Haider Khawaja, Secretary General, Punjab Olympic Association, was the chief guest on the second day of championship. 

According to the details made available by Shah Mazhar Ahmad, Secretary General, PFB, the chief guest upon his arrival was greeted by Syed Fakhar Ali Shah, President, PFB, before being introduced to the players.

The first match was played between FATA and KPK. It turned out to be a close encounter in which KPK edged out their opponents 9-8. 

Mansoor, Hameed and Faisal scored a couple of runs each while Waseem, Abid and Asim contributed a run apiece for the winning side. 

Irfan and Gohar kept FATA in the hunt by scoring two run each while Waheed, Nasim, Hazaratullah and Attaullah scored a run each. In the second match of the day, Punjab proved too good for KPK whipping them by a staggering margin of 12-0.

Ali Raza and Afraz played brilliantly for Punjab as they scored three runs each, Nasir score a couple runs while Asif, Zeeshan, Zeeshan Rasheed and Bilal contributed a run each. Ali Raza also hit a home run. 

On the third day of the competition, Pakistan Army was due to take on Pakistan Police while WAPDA will be up against Punjab in the second game to be held later in the afternoon. 

The national championship has been dedicated to the late Syed Khawar Shah, a former President of the federation in recognition of his unforgettable services to the game. 

Teams from Balochistan, KPK, Sindh, Punjab, FATA, Islamabad, Pakistan WAPDA, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Police and HEC are participating in the championship.

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March 5, 2018

National Baseball Championship 2018 dedicated to Khawar Shah


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The 23rd Khawar Shah National Baseball Championship 2018 is being organized by the Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB) at Bahria Town, Lahore, from March 5 to 10.

Syed Fakhar Ali Shah, President, PFB, shared with the media that it’s the first national baseball championship to be held after the death of Syed Khawar Shah, a former President of the federation. 

“Khawar Shah was a towering and dedicated personality of sports in Pakistan who rendered meritorious services while in government service and also as an office bearer of various sports bodies. His final assignment was as the President of Pakistan Federation Baseball where he was responsible for lift the game to high standards in the last few years,” Fakhar Shah remarked. 

“In recognition of his unforgettable services to the game, the federation has renamed the national baseball championship as 23rd Khawar Shah National Baseball Championship being held at Aashiq Hussain Baseball Stadium in Lahore’s Bahria Town,” he disclosed. 

Teams from Baluchistan, KPK, Sindh, Punjab, FATA, Islamabad, Pakistan WAPDA, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Police and HEC are participating in the Championship. 

Meanwhile the manager’s meeting was chaired by Fakhar Shah prior to the start of the six-day event which was also attended by Muhammad Mohsin Khan, Senior Vice President PFB and Chairman, Organizing Committee, Jamil Kamran, Chairman, Technical Committee and Zafar Hussain Warraich, Organizing Secretary.

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February 23, 2018

Asghar Valika regrets loss of form of top cueists


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chairman of the Pakistan Billiard & Snooker Association (PBSA), Ali Asghar Valika, the father figure of snooker in the country, has regretted the loss of form of some of the top cueists of the country and hoped that efforts will be made to keep them motivated and inspired.

In the next Board meeting he plans to propose to the PBSA Executive to take measures to ensure that the once leading cueists of the country continue performing more consistently. 

He was concerned with the loss of form the cueists Muhammad Sajjad and Shahid Aftab, both former champions, who performed much below par in the Jubilee Insurance 43rd National Snooker Championship 2018 held at the Karachi Gymkhana a few days ago. 

Asghar Valika, who revived the Pakistan snooker while leading the PBSA from 1988 to 2008, didn’t mince words in stating that he was not impressed with the performance of the eventual champion (Muhammad Asif) either. 

“I have a feeling that Asif couldn’t reproduce the form which had made him the world champion in 2012 and the national champion earlier the same year,” he observed.

“The youngsters like Asif, Sajjad, Shahid and a few others had first come into prominence when I was heading the Association. They had shown flashes of brilliance in early career and we took care of them to boost their confidence and skills. They have repaid by having performed well internationally over the years but now some chinks in their armoury are becoming visible,” the PBSA Chairman added. 

“Now the time has come for the management to talk to them and take care of their needs. Personally I feel that they would become much more productive if mentored by prolific coaches. They are blessed with talent and experience but they do need guidance and direction,” he explained.

“While it’s very heartening that the youngsters are emerging from every nook and corner of the country to challenge the top cueists of the country but we must not lose sight of the fact that the current lot of experienced cueists have brought us laurels in the recent past. They deserve to be looked after properly,” Asghar Valika felt. 

He was optimistic that the present leadership of the PBSA, which was eager to further promote cue sports in the country, will take remedial measures without further delay.

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Muhammad Asif recaptures national snooker crown after six years


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Muhammad Asif, a former world champion, recaptured the crown after six years as he edged out Muhammad Bilal in an epic final of the Jubilee Insurance 43rd National Snooker Championship 2018 at the Karachi Gymkhana on February 21.

As expected, the all-Punjab final between the two of the top cueists of the country progressed at a brisk pace with both the combatants displaying aggressive mindset to surge ahead.

It was anybody’s game, locked up at five-all, when third seed Bilal suffered a stroke of misfortune in the 11th frame and second seed Asif made the most of it by pressing home the advantage. 

Having won the national title in 2009 and 2012, Asif made the most of the lucky break in the best of 15-frame final to win it 8-5 with the scores of 83-10, 69-48, 76-19, 12-78, 28-93, 0-87, 57-77, 68-9, 79-34, 8-87, 75-51, 69-40, 66-37. The match was supervised by the eminent referee, Shabbir Hussain Daruwala.

Asif conceded that the rub of the green had gone his way in the final and he was extremely fortunate to get the opening in the 11th frame caused by an unexpected error from Bilal, who was also playing extremely well until that stage. 

The 35-year-old Asif, hailing from the industrial city of Faisalabad, felt relieved at winning the national title for the time in an illustrious career during which he also won the World Championship in 2012. 

“Bilal was a constant threat to me throughout the match and I had to play my top game to remain in business. It was a kind of encounter which was thoroughly enjoyed by the spectators as well as the large television audience watching it live,” he said. 

The 32-year-old Bilal, a proud product of Mandi Bahauddin, was aiming to the national title for the second time, having annexed it in 2016. He seemed on course of achieving his ambition but the mishap of 11th frame proved decisive and he was unable to pull it back.

Asif drew the first blood with the help of a break of 83 and then made it 3-0 by pocketing the next two frames as well. 

The breaks of 63, 60, 57 and 77 in successive frames allowed Bilal to go into 4-3 lead which was equalized by Asif with the help of a break of 61 in the eighth frame. 

The momentum was with Asif and he cashed in with another break of 79 in the ninth frame to go 5-4 up. Bilal, however, drew level by chalking up a break of 87 in the next frame. 

Bilal could not get back into game once he lost the 11th frame in which one of his shots proved fatal. Asif not only won that frame but also the next two to reclaim the trophy in style. 

Cash prizes of Rupees three lacs were disbursed in the presentation ceremony held soon after the final. Asif collected the glittering trophy with a purse of Rs 100,000 from chief guest Tahir Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee General Insurance, while Bilal received an award of Rs 50,000. 

The welcome speech was delivered by Munawwar Hussain Shaikh, President, Pakistan Billiard & Snooker Association (PBSA), while the activity report was presented by Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, Co-Chairman, PBSA. Other members of the PBSA Executive Committee present on the occasion included Zulfiqar Ramzi (Secretary), Arif Taherbhoy (Joint Secretary), Shariq Vohra, Nisar Bhagat and Rasheed Jumbo.

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February 14, 2018

Cueist Bahadur Ali penalized for violating anti-smoking laws


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Unseeded Bahadur Ali entered the record books as he became the first cueist to be penalized for violating the recently inducted anti-tobacco law imposed by the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA). 

“Bahadur Ali of Balochistan was found smoking during his match against Qadeer Abbas and he was penalized and game was awarded to his opponent as per law. The match at that stage was tied at one frame all and the final result was declared as 4-1 in favour of Qadeer Abbas,” Tournament Director, Naveed Kapadia, revealed at the Karachi Gymkhana on February 14. 

“The PBSA has imposed the restriction from the new year in accordance with the directives of the International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) and the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) which prohibits the cueists from smoking tobacco during the course of a match. All the participating cueists of the ongoing Jubilee Insurance 43rd National Snooker Championship 2018 were very much informed about it and this clause was included in the contract which they have signed with the PBSA,” he explained.

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Snooker’s strongman Arif Taherbhoy turns 68


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The long serving official of the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), Arif Taherbhoy, was feted in a unique manner as his colleagues and friends arranged an unannounced birthday party of his on the sidelines of the Jubilee Insurance 43rd National Snooker Championship 2018 at the Karachi Gymkhana on February 14.

Taherbhoy, having turned 68, was lavishly praised by the top functionaries of the PBSA who had gathered in the afternoon to celebrate the occasion rather enthusiastically. 

The PBSA Joint Secretary cut the birthday cake in the company of Munawwar Hussain Shaikh, President PBSA, and Zulfiqar Ramzi, Honorary Secretary, PBSA, in the presence of other board members which included international referee Shabbir Hussain Daruwala. 

“Arif Bhai has served the PBSA with distinction since 1989. So it has been more than quarter of a century, 29 years to be precise. He deserves to be recognized time and again for his dedication and services,” the PBSA President noted. 

The unheralded Taherbhoy indeed has been one of the pillars of the Pakistan snooker for the past three decades and his role in the snooker development of Pakistan has been quite significant.

Upon joining the PBSA in 1989 at the behest of Ali Asghar Valika, who was on a mission to revive snooker in Pakistan, he was initially assigned the task of coordination with media but at later stage he was entrusted the responsibilities of managing the day to day affairs of the body’s secretariat which he has run for close to three decades.

 An active cueist himself since student life, Taherbhoy had played snooker, mostly at Bohra Gymkhana and Karachi Club during the days when the great Latif Amir Bakhsh was at the peak of his career whith his biggest accomplishment being making it to the final of the Wahedna Gold Cup Inter-Clubs Tournament in 1972.

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February 8, 2018

Engro teams up with Quetta Gladiators for PSL


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Engro Foods, one of the largest conglomerates of Pakistan, have become the official sponsors of Quetta Gladiators for the PSL-3 and the agreement in this regard was signed between the company’s President, Ghias Khan, and Nadeem Omar, the franchise owner, in a ceremony on February 8.

The tastefully decorated office of Quetta Gladiators, owned by Nadeem Omar’s Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, was buzzing with activity on a pleasant Karachi afternoon and the auditorium, the venue of the signing ceremony, was packed to capacity to witness the event. 

“We are starting this partnership with very high hopes of making it a big one as we share a lot of common goals. We need the support of corporations and sponsoring partners to grow and become self-sustaining entity. Together we can achieve our mutual objective of putting Pakistan on top of the tree in the cricket world,” Nadeem Omar observed. 

The Engro President, an ardent supporter of the game, described the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as a great initiative, having facilitated the return of international cricket to Pakistan. He was thrilling at teaming up with Quetta Gladiators, the only team to have reached both the PSL finals. 

There was more good news for Quetta Gladiators as unlike the last edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), their foreign cricketers have agreed to play their matches of the upcoming PSL-3 being staged in Karachi and Lahore.

“With the sole exception of Kevin Pietersen, all the foreign players of our squad have expressed their willingness to play in Pakistan this time round. Even the flamboyant England batsman (Pietersen) may come and play in our cities,” Nadeem Omar, owner of Quetta Gladiators, revealed in his speech on the occasion.

Besides Pietersen, the foreign cricketers in the Quetta Gladiators squad, being led by the Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, are Shane Watson (Australia), Mahmudullah (Bangladesh), Jason Roy (England), Rilee Rossouw (South Africa), Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies) and Rashid Khan (Afghanistan). 

It may be recalled that Quetta Gladiators were deprived of the services of their prolific overseas cricketers, who opted not to travel to Lahore, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chose to move the PSL-2 final away from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the course of the tournament. 

Having finished runners-up in both the editions of the PSL, Quetta Gladiators appear determined to make it third time lucky as the PSL-3 gets underway with the usual fanfare later this month.

“We were considered underdogs on both occasions but we turned it around with passion and team spirit and proved many people wrong by cruising into the final. Sadly we couldn’t win the title in the past but I am quite confident that our team will perform better than before to bring him the trophy,” Head Coach Moin Khan, himself a former Pakistan captain, remarked.

“In cricket you cannot guarantee results but one thing is sure that we are going to fight until the end. That’s what we have been doing in the past and will keep doing it as we maintain very relaxed atmosphere in our dugout with the emphasis being on team spirit rather than anything else,” he added. 

Moin Khan reckoned that the PCB should appoint Sarfraz Ahmed as the captain of the national team until team until the 2019 World Cup which will be helpful in bringing to an end speculations and uncertainties. 

“Just as Quetta Gladiators have announced that Sarfraz Ahmed will continue leading our team as long as he’s fit, the PCB would be advised to go for a long-term appointment in the larger national interest,” the former Pakistan captain added.

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February 7, 2018

Snooker Nationals 2018 from Feb 12


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

As many as 52 cueists from all over the country will be taking part in the Jubilee Insurance 43rd National Snooker Championship 2018 which is scheduled to get underway at the Karachi Gymkhana early on February 12.

The details about the upcoming 10-day event, which will conclude February 21, were shared by Munawwar Hussain Shaikh, President, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), and Tahir Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee Insurance. Akbar Iqbal Puri, President, Karachi Gymkhana, was also present on the occasion.

“After having successfully organized both the national junior tournaments in Islamabad and the National Masters in Lahore we are all set to host the Nationals 2018 with the usual enthusiasm and intensity,” the PBSA President observed. 

“As far as the breakup of the 52 participants is concerned, the top 12 ranked cueists of the last year have been granted direct entry, eight cueists each have qualified from the provincial cups of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), six and three from the Balochistan Cup and the Islamabad Cup respectively alongwith four top junior cueists and three are wild card entries,” he revealed. 

The PBSA, in accordance with laid down procedures, has granted wild cards to Imran Shahzad, who recently defended his National Masters title successfully, Asif Toba and Muhammad Majid Ali, all of them from Punjab. 

The participating cueists have been divided in eight groups for the preliminary rounds at the end of which the top two cueists from each group will advance to the knockout phase starting with the pre-quarter-finals. 

The total prize money in the Nationals 2018 will be Rs 272,000 with the winner to collect Rs 100,000 and the runner-up to get Rs 50,000. The losing semifinalists will be receiving Rs 20,000 each while the losing quarter-finalists and the losing pre-quarter-finalists will be compensated with Rs 10,000 each and Rs 4,000 each respectively. The highest break award will earn a purse of Rs 10,000 while every century break will be rewarded with an additional award of Rs 2,000. 

Speaking on the occasion, Tahir Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee General Insurance, expressed his delight at the emergence of so many talented youngsters who have earned laurels for the country in the recent past. 

Akbar Puri, President, Karachi Gymkhana, a son of Mazhar Iqbal Puri, who had spearheaded the revival of snooker in Pakistan in the 1980s, vowed to continue supporting all sports as the club was proud of its sporting history. He assured cooperation to the PBSA in holding more snooker events in future.

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February 6, 2018

19th PVCA National Seniors Cup being contested by 103 teams


Pakistan News & Features Services

A total of 103 outfits from 50 cities, having been divided in 31 groups, will be participating in the 19th edition of the National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2017-18 being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA) and sponsored by Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd while Naya Nazimabad will be the co-sponsors.

The details about the event, whose Southern Zone matches will be getting underway on February 10, were shared by Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, in a media briefing at the Karachi Gymkhana on February 6. 

Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates, was also present on the occasion alongwith Akbar Iqbal Puri, President, Karachi Gymkhana, Abdul Haq, representing Naya Nazimabad, and the PVCA officials, Alamgir Ahmed, Amjad Islam Rishi, Shariq Hasib Khan and Mujahid Hamid. 

Fawad Ijaz Khan noted that the level of fitness of the cricketers, having crossed the age of 40, has improved considerably over the years primarily due to the introduction of the National Seniors Cup. 

Nadeem Omar reckoned that the senior cricketers were also making a significant contribution in the development of the sport, complimenting the PVCA to have withstood the challenges and delivered against the heaviest of odds. 

Akbar Puri informed that besides installing floodlights at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground, the club was looking forward to having more proactive role in cricket in near future. 

It was disclosed that 34 city teams from Punjab, 8 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5 from Sindh, 2 from Islamabad one from Baluchistan will be taking part in the tournament whose national final, to be contested between the Champions of Northern and Southern Zones, will be taking place in Karachi on 22nd April. The total prize money in the event will be Rs 694,000. 

Karachi Gold Bridge will be taking on Karachi Lucky Knitts in the inaugural match of the Southern Zone  at Naya Nazimabad Cricket Ground on February 10. 

In the Southern Zone competition, Omar Associates, Fact Date Engineering, A A Pakwan, CAA and Quetta are placed in the Group A while the Group B comprises of RLCA, Gold Bridge, Airport Gymkhana, Haseen Habib and Lucky Knitts with Hyderabad, Badin, Jamshoro and Mirpurkhas being the drawn in the interior Sindh group. 

The group matches of the Southern Zone, taking place at Karachi and Hyderabad, will be of 20 overs each innings whereas the Zonal finals as well as the National Final will be of 30 overs per innings. The group matches will be organized on single league basis. 

The matches of the Northern Zone, having got underway last November, are being played at Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur, Multan, Okara, Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Muridke, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot while the matches of the Southern Zone will be played at Karachi and Hyderabad.

Amjad Islam Rishi will be the Tournament Coordinator while the Southern Zone Committee will be headed by Alamgir Ahmed. 

The National Seniors Cup, contested annually between the selected teams of the various cities, has been organized by the PVCA every season since they its launch in 1998. 

The PVCA has attained not only national but international recognition. It has played three series of limited overs matches against Indian Veterans featuring mega stars on both sides. It also organized a series of matches against touring Canadian Veterans Cricket team in February 2017 and they are again touring Pakistan later this month to play a series of matches in Karachi and Lahore. 

Besides organizing Seniors/Veterans/Super Veterans Cricket, the PVCA is also promoting School Cricket as well having already organized eight successful editions of Inter-School Cricket Tournament in Karachi.

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