June 26, 2019

England, Australia humble Pakistan Super Veterans

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By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Over-60 outfits of Australia and England prevailed over Pakistan in their ‘international’ matches played at the Oswestry Cricket Ground in the county of Shorpshire during the ongoing tour of the United Kingdom.

According to the information shared by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), hosts England defeated Pakistan by a staggering margin of 267 runs in the 50-over game while Australia prevailed over them by 56 runs despite a brilliant century from Raja Arshad. 

England bowled Pakistan for a paltry 77 after having amassed 344 for the loss of three wickets in the allotted 50 overs. 

John Punchard topscored for the home side, with 76 off 91 balls containing eight fours. R Merriman (65), M Bowyer (50) and Barth Cilomen (50) also notched up half centuries while Haji Ashraf and Mansoor Akhtar took a wicket each for Pakistan Super Veterans, giving away for 47 and 48 runs respectively. 

Chasing a formidable target of 345 in 50 overs, the visitors collapsed under the scoreboard pressure, folding for a modest77 runs in 27 overs. Mansoor Akhtar (16), Sajid Kabir Khan (14) and Nadeem Omar (10) were the only batsmen to reach double figures as the innings was wrecked by N Stevens and M Young, who took three wickets each. 

The prize distribution ceremony was also addressed by Clive Ricks, President, England Over-60 Association, who informed that in England there were18 counties with 84 Over-60 teams and as many as 20 Over-70 Teams. 

Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, praised the playing skills and fitness level of the England players, stating that in Pakistan Over-60 cricket was only being played in Karachi with just a few fit players available. He presented Man of the Match award to John Punchard of England. Ashiq Hussain Qureshi, CEO, PVCA, was also present on the occasion. 

The contest between the two touring sides, Australia and Pakistan, at a neutral venue produced as many as 542 runs in 96 overs. 

Batting first, after winning the toss, Australian Over-60 accumulated 299 for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 50 overs. Mark Brady (83 off 81 balls) hit eight fours to emerge as the topscorer while Murray Harrison smashed a couple of sixes and as many fours in his enterprising 55. Ray Smith (42), Mark Gashell (38) and Glenn Richardson (32) were the other major contributors to the Australian total while Raja Arshad, Babar Basharat, Mansoor Akhtar, Fawad Ijaz Khan and Ejaz Faquih were the wicket-takers for Pakistan.

Raja Arshad’s typically awesome stroke-play put Pakistan Super Veterans in the driving seat as the aggressive opener belted eight sixes and 13 fours in his 136 off 109 balls. Babar Basharat (43) and Haji Ashraf (19) also played fine knocks but the Australian rallied back through Michael Frame (4-60) and Dale Thornton (2-47). 

The Pakistan outfit was bowled out for 243 in 46 overs, falling 57 runs short of their target. Their consolation was Man of the Match award collected by Raja Arshad for his sensational knock. It was improved performance by the visiting Pakistan side, who had been outplayed by the hosts a only couple of days ago. 

Pakistan Super Veterans will play their last match of the tour against Cheshire County on June 26. Earlier they had also played matches against the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire before taking on England Over-60 and Australia Over-60 outfits.

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June 14, 2019

Fawad Ijaz Khan to lead Pakistan Super Veterans in England

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By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan’s Super Veterans (Over-60) cricket team will be creating history of sorts as they embark on a two-week tour of England on June 15.

According to the information made available on June 14, all-rounder Fawad Ijaz Khan, who is also Chairman of the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), will be leading the squad which is scheduled to play five limited-overs matches in England. 

Ijaz Faqih, a former Test all-rounder, has been appointed as the vice-captain for what’s going to be the first-ever tour to be undertaken by Super Veterans of the country.  
Ashiq Hussain Qureshi, CEO, PVCA, will be accompanying the team as manager while former Test bowler, Jalaluddin, who performed the first-ever hat-trick in One-day Internationals, and Kaleem Zia Khawaja will be travelling as the head coach and the assistant manager respectively. 

The Super Veteran squad also includes former Test players, Mansoor Akhtar and Ashraf Ali, besides P J Mir, who had represented Pakistan by the name of Pervez Mir during the inaugural World Cup in 1975, and Nadeem Omar, President, Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA).

Arif Habib, Tahir Shah, Basharat Ali Babar, Haji Ashraf, Badar Ansari, Aminullah Khan Raisani, Sajid Kabir and Nadeem Yousuf are the other members of the touring squad with Muhammad Akram and Altaf Aziz being reserve players. 

Pakistan’s Super Veterans will be playing a couple of matches of 50 overs each against hosts England and the touring Australian Veterans Team. 

They will also play three 45 overs-a-side matches against the counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire. 

They will open the tour with a game against Yorkshire at Woodlands Cricket Club, Bradford, on June 17 before taking on Lancashire at Heywood Cricket Club, Heywood, on June 19. 

They will be up against England Veterans at Oswestry Cricket Club, Shropshire, on June 21 before meeting Australian Veterans at the same venue three days later. They will play the final game of the tour against Cheshire at Warrington Cricket Club, Warrington, on June 26. 

Meanwhile the PVCA has expressed its gratitude to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, for his personal intervention in getting UK visas of some of the players from the British High Commission.

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June 4, 2019

Nadeem Omar delighted with Quetta performance

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By Syed Khalid Mahmood 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Nadeem Omar, the owner of Quetta Gladiators franchise, has expressed his delight at the phenomenal rise in the standard of cricket during the last few years in the western province of Balochistan, whose capital in Quetta.

“At the time of the bidding for Quetta Gladiators about four years ago we were being advised by all quarters not to do so because of the lack of cricketing talent and resources in that province. But we had our own parameters of assessment and we went ahead with our plans. The results are there for everybody to see,” he observed in an interview at the sidelines of prize distribution ceremony of the 34th edition of Karachi Gymkhana Omar Associates Ramazan Festival Cricket Tournament 2019 at the KG Cricket Ground on June 3. 

Nadeem Omar, who was the chief guest of the evening, felt particularly pleased with the title-clash between Heroes Cricket Club Quetta and Quetta Gladiators Academy which highlighted the rising standard of sport in Balochistan.

“Isn’t it quite remarkable that both the finalists of one of the leading tournaments of the country belonged to Quetta? Their outfits comprised of players from all over the province and what a splendid performance they have come up with,” he complimented. 

Nadeem Omar, who was elected as President of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) last year, didn’t mince words in stating that integrated efforts were needed to groom the talent and polish the skills of the young cricketers. 

“Quetta, like rest of the country, has always been blessed with talented cricketers. They have come of age now after being taken care of during the last few years only. Obviously this is just the beginning. They will be hitting headlines in future,” he thought. 

“The enthusiasm and passion for cricket in Balochistan augur well for the future of the sport in the country. They will make the game more competitive and the national team will only become stronger,” he believed. 

He agreed that the title triumph of Quetta Gladiators in the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL-4) has been help in further motivating the cricketers of Balochistan in particular.

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