August 4, 2018

Khurshid Hadi regrets thin attendance in Aslam Memorial Bridge Tournament


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The low turnout has marred the 23rd edition of the Aslam Memorial Bridge Tournament 2018 got underway at the Aslam Bridge Hall, housed in the National Stadium, Karachi, on August 4.

Only eight teams turned out for the annual event, organized by the Karachi Bridge Associates (KBA), to pay homage the late Muhammad Aslam Shaikh, a former Secretary of the Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF), known to have devoted his life for the development of the game. 

The thin attendance looked all the more disappointing for the fact that the event offered handsome prize money of Rs 150,000, donated by Khurshid Hadi, Founder Chairman, Mind Sports Association of Pakistan (MSAP) and a former President of the PBF, with even the fifth placed team assured of a share in it. 

According to the information made available by the organizers, the tournament was participated by 11 teams last year which was the lowest in its 22-year history. Now the record has come down to eight teams in its 23rd year. 

The PBF and the KBA had jointly instituted the memorial event in 1996 in the memory of Aslam Shaikh, who was tragically murdered in August 1995. 

Khurshid Hadi, having headed the PBF with distinction for a couple of tenures until 2008, conceded that the declining attendance in the bridge tournaments of late was a cause of serious concern and appropriate damage control measures must be taken by the administrators of the game.

He pointed out that the ongoing development work at the National Stadium was also one of the contributing factors in not letting the interested players reach the Aslam Bridge Hall due to the hardships they faced. 

Meanwhile Shahab IV, comprising of Shahab Latif Khan, Abdul Qadir Sakaria, Farhat Abbas and Muhtashim Ashai, got themselves on top of the tree in the points table at the end of the second round with their score of 27.44 points. 

KBA, led by its President Dr Minhaj Qidwai, and also having Faraz Hyder, Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi and Abdul Kader Bhurgri, were a close second with 26.58 points while Kizilbashing, containing Anwer Mumtaz Kazilbash, Tehseen Gheewala, Anis-ur-Rahman, Hasan Askari and Rashid-ul-Ghazi, were placed third with 23.87 points. 

MSAP, captained by its chairman Khurshid Hadi, and also having the likes of Kemal Shoaib, Abdul Rahman Allana, Major Akhtar Zaidi and Javed Ahmed Miran, had moved to fourth position with 18.68 points after having endured a setback in the opening round.


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