August 30, 2010

Trott, Broad save England’s blushes with record stand


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad saved England’s blushes with their 332-run world record stand for the eighth wicket in the fourth and final Test against Pakistan at Lord’s that ended rather prematurely on August 29.

England had themselves to blame to be cornered at 102 for seven on the second afternoon when the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood looked like novices.

The English batsmen having grown up there are expected to be well versed in tackling the conditions that are generally alien to the visitors. It was pathetic to find all their big guns perishing so unceremoniously.

Mohammad Aamer was putting the ball in the right areas and there was plenty of movement and encouragement available to him. Yet it was inconceivable to watch the England batsmen demonstrate so much weakness in negotiating him.

Trott had not come from another planet although he had certainly arrived from another continent, being a South African by birth. He applied himself and made adjustment in his stance, standing way outside his crease, to negate the prodigious swing and that was it.

Trott was on top of the bowling when the senior ‘pros’ of his team were coming and going as if they had something more important to attend. It was really shameful cricket by England that morning which saw them reduced to 47 for five, after having resumed at 39 for one.

Matt Prior got the cue from Trott and together they saw off the remainder of the morning session. But another double blow soon after resumption saw them crash to 102 for seven.

Enter Stuart Broad. He had his credentials as a lower-order batsman but not many people would have expected the young left-hander to keep his cool in the intense pressure his team was under.

It was Broad who took the initiative of attacking the bowlers who had earlier been allowed to dominate and settle into a groove. Suddenly there were positive strokes on display. Initially they went straight to the fielders and one wondered if he would have the patience to stay focused.

With his partner Trott in complete control Broad enjoyed the freedom of playing his natural game. The tactics worked and the runs started coming at a brisk pace.

The Pakistan skipper, Salman Butt, as expected neither had any backup plan or an alternate strategy to come to terms with the counter-attack. With no worthwhile advice coming from the dressing room either the momentum shifted and England moved into the driving seat.

The members of the Pakistan team management, Yawar Saeed, Waqar Younis and Shafqat Rana, were more absorbed in photo sessions at the balcony of Lord’s where they were celebrating the fall of every wicket as if that had come totally unexpected.

The partnership between Trott and Broad continued growing and it was broken only due to the technology. But the damage had been done and England merrily endured another mini-collapse to be bowled out for 446.

It was a huge first innings score and it looked even bigger when Pakistan were bowled out for 74 to concede a deficit of 372. Following on they fared little better and England won the match by an innings and 225 runs.

readmore »»

August 29, 2010

Glory for Sri Lanka, agony for India


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Sri Lanka’s task of winning the final of the Micromax Cup 2010 was made easier by the lackluster performance by the Indian batsmen once more. With the youngsters not prepared to meet the challenge and Virender Sehwag unable to translate the promising start into something substantial there was only one team that looked focused on clinching the trophy in Dambulla on August 28.

India had reinforced their batting by axing bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and bringing in Rohit Sharma. But they were unable to come good even on the easiest batting track witnessed during the competition as the ball had dominated the bat in the earlier games.

While the Sri Lankans were clinical in approach, as they normally do, the intensity was lacking in the Indian camp. The stage was set for the young guns to make amends for their past failures in the tournament but neither of them displayed the determination expected of them after having an extended run in the international arena.

Only Dinesh Karthik was unlucky to have been given out when the ball was nowhere close to his bat when he attempted to leg-glance Lasith Malinga in the opening over of the innings. On any other day that could have easily run for four leg byes but this time the ball landed in the gloves of the diving Sri Lankan captain, Kumar Sangakkara, whose vociferous appeal prompted umpire Asad Rauf to raise his finger.

Sehwag had already played a couple of gorgeous cover drives yielding boundaries earlier in the over and all Karthik was needed to stay there and rotate the strike which he couldn’t.

Much if not all depended on Sehwag to carry the fight to the Sri Lankans while chasing the target of 300. He had started off in a spectacular fashion and all his boundaries were coming from the meat of the bat. He, however, ran himself out in bizarre circumstances much to the delight of the home crowd.

Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli looked in the process of building a prosperous partnership but it was cut short against the run of play when the former got the faintest of edges while executing an unorthodox shot. Kohli didn’t last much longer either although his stay in the middle was a bit longer than earlier games.

Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma continued to disappoint leaving the responsibility on the shoulders of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni whose lone vigil kept the match alive at least theoretically till the end. He was last man to be dismissed for 67 as India lost the game by 74 runs.

"If you are able to build partnerships is the only way you can chase something close to 300. Most of the batsmen got the start that was needed we wanted at least a couple of batsmen to score big. Even if they had scored close to 60-70 odd runs, it would have been a close game if we had converted our starts," Dhoni said at the end of the match.

“It was the best track given to the players in this series I felt it played quite neutral under the lights also. The base of the wicket was really hard and, though there was grass on top of it, it played the same throughout the game," he added.

readmore »»

August 27, 2010

India’s young batsmen fail to meet the challenge yet again


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Edged and gone. It was a length delivery outside the off stump and he has a lame poke at it. He fished out and got an edge.

That has been the story for the India’s promising young batsmen, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and even Suresh Raina in the Micromax Cup 2010 being held in Dambulla where the ball has been seaming around quite a bit and batting is much more a challenging proposition than going out and compile heaps of runs on the placid pitches at home. They have kept the opposition wicketkeepers and slip fielders busy all along.

Although skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and premier batsman, Virender Sehwag, who has once again shown how to make the adjustment on a different kind of surface, have played down the failure of their young brigade but I am sure they must be getting sick with the sight of their ‘future stars’ falling apart so tamely.

The technique of all four youngsters, Karthik, Kohli, Sharma and Raina, has been found wanting on tracks where the ball moves and it poses a serious question mark against them. They have been at sea against the balls doing a bit in the air or off the wicket.

Their repeated soft dismissals have brought the team under immense pressure. Two times they were rescued by Sehwag and when he was unable to deliver on the other two occasions India lost heavily after being bundled out for 88 and 103.

India's scores after 15 overs in their league matches have been 54 for five, 47 for three, 56 for five and 81 for four. Whatever the fate of the final against Sri Lanka, the Indian selectors will have to reassess their young batsmen before picking them up again for future games.

While Sharma and Kohli have failed to impress with the bat, they have caught the attention also for not accepting the verdict of the umpires. Every time Sharma is given out he has something to pass the impression that the umpire has committed a blunder by ruling him out.

Kohli is not much different either. He was stunned and didn’t move when given out caught behind by Ashoka de Silva in the game against New Zealand. He stared at the umpire and looked at his partner before stirring into action and walking away very slowly indeed.

It was Kohli’s faulty technique and not an umpiring blunder. It was a length delivery just outside off stump and he pushed out at it with bat away from the body. The replays confirmed that there was some noise plus the snickometer also showed there was a nick.

It’s really strange to find these young batsmen struggle so much even against not the most lethal bowling attacks. How can they be expected to come good when the quality of bowling is of the highest class? They need to improve their technique and temperament if they wish to succeed at the international level.

readmore »»

August 26, 2010

Indian fast bowlers prove so-called experts awfully wrong


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

I hope that the so-called experts who assessed the various bowling attacks of the world for a website the other day did get the opportunity of watching the Micromax Cup 2010 do-or-die encounter between India and New Zealand at Dambulla on August 25.

The ‘learned’ trio of Ian Chappell, Allan Donald and India’s own Sanjay Manjrekar had described the Indian bowling as the weakest in world cricket these days. Well if India’s second string of quickies were good enough to reduce New Zealand to 53 for eight before eventually bowling them out for 118 it reflected their potency more than anything else.

It was the quartet of Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma who bowled superbly to engineer an impressive 105-run victory for India that took them to the final.

It’s not often that the Indians play four fast-medium bowlers in a game but the conditions in Dambulla prompted their think-tank to do away with the conventional strategy of relying on spinners.

The conditions at Dambulla were certainly in favour of the fast bowlers, particularly under lights, but they still needed to put the ball in right areas and create pressure in order to defend a modest total of 223.

Kumar started the slide and Nehra, who didn’t concede any run apart from three wides in as many overs, joined in the act soon. Sharma broke the threatening fifth wicket partnership before Patel removed three batsmen in quick succession to seal the fate of the game.

Only Sharma would have been a certainty if India were not handicapped by the injuries to their key fast bowlers. Zaheer Khan and Shantikumaran Sreesanth would definitely have carried the burden of attacking the opponents with the new ball, had they been fit.

Another ‘key’ element missing from the Indian bowling attack in Dambulla is the wily off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, whose vast experience of international cricket makes me an automatic choice in the playing eleven.

The Indian bowlers, unlike the South Africans, Australians and Englishmen, have had to bowl in very tough conditions at home. The pitches in India of late have heavily been loaded in favour of the batsmen and life has been tough for their own bowlers.

Well the Indian fast bowlers had to be grateful to Virender Sehwag for having given them the runs to play with in the crucial game against New Zealand. Had Sehwag not batted in the typically aggressive style of his to compile yet another ODI century, the Indians would have been in dire straits.

"Since I was in form, I thought I will score more than the others. If I take more strike, then there is a smaller chance of others getting out," the mercurial opener remarked after having played one of the greatest ODI knocks of his career.

"The wicket was behaving better today than it did in the other matches and I knew in the first couple of overs that if I applied myself and batted cautiously, then it will be a good track to bat on. So in the first few overs, I was just watching how the wicket was behaving and after that I started playing my shots. I knew once I start playing my shots, the bowlers will be on the back foot and they will give me more loose balls," he added.

readmore »»

August 24, 2010

South Africa, not Australia, have best bowling attack


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

I came across an interesting discussion, featuring three former Test cricketers, in which the present day bowling attacks in world cricket was the subject.

The trio of Ian Chappell, Allan Donald and Sanjay Manjrekar shared their views and it was unsurprising to find them more or less on the same wavelength. But I have my reservations about their assessment.

They have rated South Africa and Australia as the best bowling attacks followed by that of Pakistan and England while pushing India and Sri Lanka to the bottom.

Manjrekar, for a moment, looked off-target if not totally out of mind in his observations. "When you look at bowling attacks from around the world Australia will still perhaps be No.1, because you can imagine that attack being pretty good on Indian conditions, in Sri Lanka as well," he was quoted as saying.

"Getting everything in the air, trying to beat batsmen in pace and not using the surface at all by bowling the ball full-that's where Australia are good. They have got Mitchell Johnson who uses the length well. Doug Bollinger is also quite happy pitching the ball up. Australia and South Africa to me are the attacks that can perhaps make an impression in all sorts of conditions," Manjrekar, whose own career was cut short because of adopting some strange tactics, contended.

I wish Manjrekar had watched the performance of the Australian fast bowlers, whom he has showered with so much praise, during the two-Test series against Pakistan earlier this summer. In their present form neither Johnson nor Bollinger deserved to be any frontline Test team.

Yes South Africa possess the standout pace attack that can demolish any batting line-up with brutal force. They are the only team in the world having both the new ball operators, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, genuinely quick.

South Africa are fortunate to be blessed with genuine fast bowlers in their ranks whose aggression tests the best of batters in the business. They have a formidable support cast as well with Jacques Kallis being a more than decent fifth bowler.

Australia have had the most lethal bowling in the world until Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath were around. After their departure they have tried different bowlers but neither of them has been consistent enough for a long period. Their domestic structure has kept throwing talented youngsters but they have a lot to prove at the international level.

I fully agree with Donald that England, with a strong pace attack and a successful spinner in Graeme Swann, remained formidable in home conditions only and they would indeed be tested in Australia later in the year.

"It will be very interesting for them to go to Australia during the Ashes and bowl on those flat pitches. With the new ball, they are pretty good. James Anderson is the bowler for me who really stands out in that regard. Stuart Broad is pretty much a line bowler, he's quite aggressive. But in conditions with the Kookaburra ball, they are going to need something off the deck as well. So they are going to be tested during the Ashes," Donald reckoned.

readmore »»

August 23, 2010

Rotary recognition brings smiles


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

It was quite a big day for me on August 21 as I was presented a Certificate of Excellence by two of the leading Rotary personalities of the country, Aziz Memon and Syed Shahab Balkhi. It was deemed as a great honour for our Rotary Club of Karachi Airport as well.

Obviously every award as a significance of its own but the Rotary recognition is something that’s dearer to the heart because of the noble causes being pursued by this leading international voluntary organization of which I have been a member for the past six years now.

There was even greater pleasure to have received the award from a man called Aziz Memon, who has been one of my role models for the last many years. He was not only responsible for motivating me to join Rotary in 2004 but he has remained an inspiration all along with his deeds and words.

Different people have different reasons to know Aziz Memon because he has been blessed with such a versatile personality and for whom the sun never sets. He starts his day at office before 9 each morning and trust me he has the same energy level when we meet him late at night in various ceremonies.

His time management, besides quite a few other outstanding qualities, is truly incredible and I am sure we need to learn from him. He has set very high standards for himself but most importantly he meets the challenge with a smile.

Aziz Memon had rewritten the Rotary history when he was District Governor in 2007-2008. Now Shahab Balkhi has also taken over the reigns at a historic time, having become the first Governor of the newly founded District 3271, covering Sindh and Balochistan.

The visit of Aziz Memon and Shahab Balkhi to Rangoonwala Community Centre, where Rotary Club of Airports convenes its weekly meetings on Saturdays, on August 21 was a Red Letter Day in the history of our club.

The Club President, Anwar Jabeen Qureshi, was both happy and relieved. So was the Club Secretary, Shah Mohammad Anwar. Both these gentlemen had worked extremely hard to put the acts together in making the necessary arrangements for the visit of the two dignitaries at a rather short notice.

The other members of the club present on the occasion were Abdul Hamid, Mohammad Nazakat Ali, Shamim Khan, Wasim Yousuf, Sameer Baig and Mahmood Nawaz.

Besides the award presentation by Aziz Memon, there was a full board meeting chaired by Shahab Balkhi as it was also the Governor’s Official Visit to the club.

The Governor, who was generous enough to recognize our project of Mobile Library & Resource Centre in his speech in the installation ceremony on July 10, had a lively interactive session and he was thoroughly impressed by the efforts being made by the club.

He agreed that once the pilot project of Mobile Library & Resource Centre became ready our club will be in much better position to seek partner corporate organizations to spread it further.

He was informed that our club will be actively participating in community service by providing equipments to needy schools and colleges, donating books to educational institutions and public libraries, donating sewing machines to needy women, donating equipments to charity hospitals, holding free eye camps and medical clinic and holding career development seminars for youth.

readmore »»

England fans should get ready for another Ashes whitewash


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

If Andrew Strauss and his team have the capacity to lose a Test match to the Ijaz Butt XI playing under the banner of Pakistan then I am afraid no force on earth might be able to save them from whitewash in the upcoming Ashes battle in Australia.

England could only be saved by rains or floods or any other natural calamity Down Under during those Test match days. The manner in which England got outplayed at The Oval there’s very little chance of them coming to terms to the Australian brand of cricket in the Ashes series due to start in just a few months time.

Even in the absence of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist, having retired after whitewashing England four seasons ago, Australia’s mental toughness remains second to none and they have faltered rarely even with their depleted outfits.

Yes Ricky Ponting’s team had also suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Pakistan earlier this summer in England but the Aussies have played that kind of untidy cricket once in many years.

Australia’s fast bowling was at the lowest ebb in the two-Test series against Pakistan that pushed Ponting to the corner and he had to look to the part-timers for wickets in conditions conducive to seam movement.

It was amazing to watch the trio of Doug Bollinger, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus having forgotten the elementary lessons and not being able to put the ball in the right areas against batsmen who were themselves shy of attacking them.

If Ponting had to throw the ball to the likes of Shane Watson, Steve Smith and Marcus North for wickets on the Headingley pitch against the inexperienced Pakistan side it reflected total chaos in his arsenal.

I can’t recollect the Australian fast bowlers bowl as poorly as they did in the Headingley Test where they should have made up for the shortcomings and failures of their own batsmen.

Australia can’t be expected to falter again and that too in their own den where the conditions would be entirely different. The bounce of the pitches will test the England batsmen who have now been struggling to put their acts together in the home series against Pakistan.

Ponting appears fully determined not to let England escape and his recent statement of pursuing another whitewash now makes greater sense following the debacle of the hosts at The Oval.

England are currently in possession of the Ashes which they had regained at home last summer with Strauss having led the hosts to the famous victory.

Now the victorious skipper of 2009 should get ready for facing the music in 2010-11. The story might not be dissimilar to one after 2005 when England had clinched the Ashes after 18 long years.

Ponting’s fierce determination and the recent loss of confidence of Strauss could be a major factor in pushing England to the wall once more.

The England fans traveling in large numbers to Australia for witnessing the Ashes battle will have be patient as their endurance level would severely tested.

readmore »»

August 22, 2010

Lackluster England gift victory to Ijaz Butt XI


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

England, leading 2-0, had to play extremely poorly to self-destruct themselves in third Test at The Oval to keep the series alive. They performed below par to lose the game by a margin of four wickets in the end.

The margin was not the issue. England were not expected to allow Pakistan, in all sorts of problems, to come close. In fact it was being anticipated that the series would be closed without any fuss before the fourth and final Test.

Isn’t it remarkable that the team forced to make wholesale changes emerged victorious against an unchanged confident outfit that had fared consistently as a well-knit unit for past few months.

There was so much chaos surrounding the selection and composition of the Pakistan team that was being branded as the Ijaz Butt XI at home following the ouster of the deserving players having performed exceptionally well in the national tournaments.

There were protests, demonstrations and press conferences in Karachi over the omission of the talented cricketers of the city on the eve of the third Test and the chairman of the national selection committee, Mohsin Hasan Khan, also hailing from Karachi, had literally gone underground.

Yet this Ijaz Butt XI managed to win the third Test against all odds. Call it the Blessings of Ramazan or the Will of God the impossible was made possible once more.

It’s astonishing how the England batsmen collapsed against debutant Wahab Riaz, who had captured just a handful of wickets in first-class cricket at home earlier in the season and his selection was being debated.

England were generous in presenting a debut gift to Wahab Riaz in the shape of a five-wicket haul in his first-ever innings in Test cricket. It’s a kind of feat that many of the greatest bowlers of all time failed to achieve.

Unlike Australia who had collapsed to a meager total on the first day of the Headingley Test, after Ricky Ponting had opted to bat first after winning the toss in overcast conditions, England did recover following not too sensible move of Andrew Strauss to do the same at The Oval.

Strauss could have been better off inserting the vulnerable Pakistan batsmen on the first morning when the pitch offered greater life to the fast bowlers. I don’t know why the England captain chose to bat when he had a decent pace attack in the shape of James Anderson, Chris Broad and Steven Finn to attack the opposition visibly short of confidence.

Strauss was guilty of putting his own batsmen under pressure and not surprisingly they couldn’t come good. It was the eighth wicket partnership between Matt Prior and Broad that saved them from humiliation.

Strauss, not looking the leader in command, committed another fatal blunder by dropping a sitter at first slip off lastman Mohammad Asif when Pakistan were just a few runs ahead. That was the easiest of chances that the England captain missed. In the context of the match it was the costliest miss.

readmore »»

August 17, 2010

Century or no century Sehwag reigns supreme


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Virender Sehwag, the most explosive of all present day opening batsmen, was deprived of an ODI hundred in controversial circumstances and he had to contend with an unbeaten 99 instead as he guided India to a much needed victory over Sri Lanka at Dambulla in the ongoing Tri-nation series for the Micromax Cup 2010, also featuring New Zealand.

Although he made 99 off just 101 balls the innings looked a bit out of character from the blade of a man who doesn’t normally allow the bowlers to settle down. It was one of those days when he was in a mood to bat with a calculated approach fully realizing the gravity of the situation.

His partnership with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had taken India out of danger in the must-win game, after yet another horrible top-order collapse, and he took the charge when the target had come well within the reach.

Sehwag’s belated onslaught opened the window for another century from the belligerent opener besides earning the vital bonus point for the team. Once in full try no bowler in the world can contain him and he was in complete control once more while assaulting the Sri Lankans.

Dhoni, not surprisingly, was also very keen to let his partner reach the landmark and it was just a matter of one more run for Sehwag with India still needing five for victory when off-spinner Suraj Randhiv began in what was certain to be the last over of the game.

Sehwag was not happy when four byes were conceded at the start of the over but he still had a chance to do it. After failing to pierce the field on the next couple of deliveries he took the aerial route and cleared the fence.

But that was a no-ball which meant that India had actually completed the win without the last stroke from Sehwag. Although it was a six but he was credited with nothing, as per laws, leaving him stranded on 99.

Randiv had overstepped by at least a foot when the scores were level to leave causing some resentment in the Indian camp. Sehwag, during the post-match presentation ceremony, couldn’t hide his emotions and he charged that the tall off-spinner had deliberately no-balled to deny him a hundred.

Sehwag, however, was happy that India collected the win and bonus point irrespective of the fact that he completed his century or not.

"The ball was doing something in first 10 overs so I batted cautiously and tried to build partnerships, and after that I played my shots. I was not worried about runs, I knew if I batted 30-40 overs, then match will get over in 40 overs, I just tried to not play the rash shot," he explained why he took so much time to open his shoulders.

"We discussed in the meeting that someone has to play 30-40 overs, especially someone from the top order. I was just trying to play as long as I can, I was just waiting for some loose deliveries to hit for four," he added.

Dhoni very rightly was full of praise for Sehwag for having taken the responsibility once more when the chips were down.

readmore »»

August 16, 2010

Ponting talking of another Ashes whitewash


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The Ashes 2010-11 is still quite a few months away but the war of words has commenced with the Australian skipper, Ricky Ponting, not ruling out the possibilities of his side establishing total supremacy over their traditional rivals. It will be interesting to watch how the England camp reacts to such claims.

The England supporters would not forget that the Australians, wounded by the Ashes loss in 2005, had hit back so decisively 18 months later to regain it in style.

Will the history repeat itself? England had snatched the Ashes last summer and now the Australians are itching to take it back when the battle resumes later this year at the Gabba in Brisbane.

"It's absolutely possible. There's no reason why not. It's all in our hands. It's how well we play and how well we take charge of different situations. We've learnt from a lot of the mistakes that we've made. There's no doubt we made some mistakes in the last Ashes series in England that probably at the end of the day cost us the series,” Ponting was quoted as saying in Melbourne.

"We know now that we're a more experienced and probably a better team now than we were then. We put that together plus we're playing in our conditions, we hope to win this series and win it well. Batting collapses probably were the reason we lost the series last time around and our inability to bowl them out on the last day in Cardiff. I have got confidence in the squad of players that we've got that they are going to be good enough to win an Ashes series," he added.

"James Anderson and Stuart Broad and those guys have really stepped up. They are coming together well as a team. We have to make sure at the end of the Indian tour that we have got everything in place to make sure that we are ultra-competitive against them,” Ponting reckoned.

"England have certainly bowled well and they have had great conditions to bowl in as well, the English. We'll have a different set of conditions and a different ball when they come out here and I'm sure our guys will equip themselves really well. We know where we have to bowl to all of their batsmen. They have got no one there who's going to surprise us at all," the Australian skipper thought.

I think it will be a tall order for Australia to whitewash England again even though the ball will not be swinging as much as it does in the Mother country and the hosts will be boosted by the return of Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle and Nathan Hauritz.

Australia would obviously enter the upcoming Ashes series as the favourites mainly because of the home advantage but they can’t be expected to prevail over the current England side in every Test,

Unlike the 2006-07 Ashes series, Australia’s bowlers haven’t enjoy the phenomenal success of late and on the contrary the Englishmen have given a better account of themselves during the last few seasons.

readmore »»

August 15, 2010

Razzaq stars in Hampshire’s thrilling T20 triumph


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Discarded Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq turned out to be Hampshire’s hero in the thrilling win over Somerset in the final of the Friends Provident T20 Championship at Rose Bowl on August 14.

Former South African batsman Neil McKenzie was the calming influence in the big chase, compiling a solid half century, but Razzaq’s all-round excellence was probably more significant in the outcome of the match in which the scores were tied and Hampshire were declared the winners for having lost fewer wickets.

Cricket is very much a team game and the contribution of every player counts to the success but the adjudicators have to take into account the most influential performance while declaring a Man of the Match. To cut the long story short, Razzaq deserved the award which was handed over to McKenzie.

What a thrilling climax it turned out to be and the result of the 151 matches depended entirely to the last ball. Hampshire needed a couple of runs with Dan Christian, batting with a runner, to win the game and just a single was needed for a tie that would have secured the title for them.

Christian had pulled his hamstring on the previous ball while coming back for a second run and Jimmy Adams arrived as his runner for the last ball for which Marcus Trescothick brought all but one of his fielders close to pitch to prevent the single.

Christian missed the last ball and there was a huge appeal for lbw which was turned down. It looked very close to the naked but the replays confirmed that it was just sliding down leg side and it was yet another great umpiring decision.

The leg bye was stolen in dramatic circumstances with Christian also running the length of pitch with his runner. I think there was an opportunity for Somerset to run him out but their fielders also choked under pressure.

There was a little pause before the Hampshire cricketers ran into the field to celebrate their win. The 39-year-old former England all-rounder, Dominic Cork, at last, had a big trophy in his kitty.

Cork himself played a pivotal role in limiting the Somerset total as his final over was a class act and it reflected what difference experience can make. Something around 15 or 20 runs were expected to be taken when he came on to bowl the last over of the innings with the West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard in full cry.

Pollard, who had blasted the other bowlers in his little cameo, was undone by a bouncer from Cork and landed in hospital a few moments later. Cork then produced a few more unplayable deliveries to restrict Somerset to 173 in 20 overs.

Pollard’s injury not only denied Somerset of a few crucial runs but they were also robbed of his quota of overs that meant additional burden on Trescothick who had to fill the vacuum with part-timers.

India’s left-arm spinner Murali Kartik was the trump card for the Somerset skipper but the dampness in the ground kept the ball wet and it became next to impossible to turn the ball. Kartik still bowled very accurately, not giving away any boundary in his first three overs.

readmore »»

August 12, 2010

KCCA vows to fight until dismissal of Ijaz Butt


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

In a rare show of strength the movers and shakers of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) vowed to take the fight to the camp of Ijaz Butt who was accused of having destructed the Pakistan cricket.

The trio of Prof Siraj-ul-Islam Bokhari (President), Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui (Honorary Secretary) and Khalil Ahmed Nainitalwala (Vice President), backed by the zonal office-bearers, came out openly to criticize the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in the harshest possible manner during a media briefing at the Karachi Press Club before joining the protesting young cricketers of the city in which a couple of cricket bats were burnt.

Although it was a warm first afternoon of the Holy month of Ramazan on August 12 the intensity of the protestors was rather high and the youngsters as well as the veterans present on the occasion chanted noisy slogans against Ijaz Butt and they demanded his immediate sacking to prevent further chaos.

The KCCA Vice President, Khalil Ahmed Nainitalwala, was in a furious mood as he had come prepared in the media briefing, substantiating his claims with facts and figures while raising the voice for the cricketers of city who have been victimized by Ijaz Butt and party for the past couple of years.

“I have no hesitation in calling it the Ijaz Butt Cricket Board instead of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Similarly we have been witnessing Ijaz Butt XI and not the national team of Pakistan playing against the various teams,” he declared.

“Isn’t it a tragedy that the team, being selected on the basis of nepotism, is getting hammered and the deserving cricketers are not being provided a chance to perform? Ijaz Butt’s blue-eyed boys are in the team despite failing repeatedly while the experienced campaigners like Danish Kaneria are sent home after just one failure. Why these double standards,” he questioned.

“It’s a shame that Ijaz Butt has crossed all limits of decency. Merit seems to be a piece of paper to him. He is just not bothered to look beyond his own circle of friends. He is not perturbed with the disgusting performance of the team that was touched rocked bottom of late,” Khalil Nainitalwala highlighted.

“What a pity that the Pakistan team these days is struggling to get 100 runs in an innings? It’s mainly because the talented and deserving boys of Karachi have been ignored even after their consistent performance in the national tournaments,” he added.

“Our batsmen Asad Shafiq, Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif performed much better than Azhar Ali and Umar Amin who have been taken to England where they have failed miserably so far. Similarly our bowlers Tabish Khan and Anwar Ali fared better than Wahab Riaz who was selected. Our fast bowler Tanvir Ahmed, who was the leading wicket-taker in the last season, has not been played in a single game yet in England which is very sad indeed,” Khalil Nainitalwala reckoned.

“We were waiting for the better sense to prevail that’s why we didn’t register our protest openly in the past. But the stage has come where we have to raise voice for our cricketers and since we have now come out in the open we will not sit back until Ijaz Butt is dismissed,” he replied when asked about the future course of action if status quo prevailed.

readmore »»

August 11, 2010

KCCA comes out in open to expose Ijaz Butt’s bias


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

I think that the officials of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) have finally realized that enough is enough and they need to come out in the open to fight for the rights of their cricketers who have been brutally treated by Ijaz Butt and his cronies.

After having condemned the biased attitude of the national selectors in their Executive Council meeting the other day, the KCCA high command, shocked and disappointed, has now decided to hold a press conference on August 12.

Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, Honorary Secretary, KCCA, has announced that the briefing will be held at the Karachi Press Club at 3 pm.

Khalil Ahmed Nainitalwala, Vice President, KCCA, will be apprising the media and the general public of the injustices to the Association and their players by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which has actually been a one-man show for about two years now.

The KCCA officials, on a few occasions, had taken on the PCB in the past as well but their stance had generally been soft and lacked the conviction. It might be a different story to relate this time round.

There is enormous pressure from the various quarters on the office-bearers of the KCCA to bat for the victimized cricketers of the metropolis who must be feeling let down by the double standards of the national selection committee headed by Mohsin Hasan Khan.

Interestingly Mohsin, one of the most stylish opening batsmen to have played for Pakistan, himself belongs to Karachi but he looks absolutely helpless at the moment.

The best course of action for Mohsin would be to follow the examples of his predecessors Abdul Qadir and Iqbal Qasim, both of whom could only last a few months before expressing their inability to come to terms with a man called Ijaz Butt.

It would be interesting to find out if the KCCA officials still resort to diplomacy or they demonstrate the courage to call a spade a spade. I think they should display greater self-belief while safeguarding the interests of their cricketers.

The Executive Council of the KCCA has placed on record its condemnation for the biased attitude of the PCB selection committee for having totally ignored the promising lot of Karachi cricketers like Sarfaraz Ahmed, Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Faisal Iqbal and Asad Shafiq.

The Council was of the opinion that the PCB selectors had deliberately failed to consider the performances of the Karachi cricketers in the national tournaments.

They urged about the PCB authorities to review their failings and accord justice to the talented cricketers of Karachi, who despite being the national champions, feel the agony of getting deprived when it came to playing for Pakistan.

They insisted that merit alone should be the basis of the selection and Pakistan’s prestige should be the prime consideration which can only be achieved through selections based on merit and fair chance to play for all Associations.

Well the KCCA high command must be aware of the fact that there’s no such thing as the PCB authorities any more because no one else other than Ijaz Butt has any authority in running the Board.

The KCCA should be direct in their approach and they should be talking plain truth instead of wrapping it inside some dual-meaning words.

readmore »»

August 10, 2010

Points to ponder for Strauss despite nine-wicket Edgbaston triumph


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Just like no side has lost a Test match after bowling out their opponents for 72 in the first innings for well over a century, it’s very rare for a team and its management to be concerned even after winning the game by a decisive margin of nine wickets.

In fact it’s quite creditable on part of the England skipper, Andrew Strauss, after winning the Edgbaston Test on August 9 to have conceded that his team needed to overcome certain shortcomings.

"Any time you win six in a row you are pretty happy with yourselves, but we are still conscious that there are plenty of areas where we need to improve so we are not getting too carried away. The first job is to make sure we win the series next week and then push on from there, because this was a timely reminder you do have to work hard for a Test match. If it had been a longer chase it would have been much harder," Strauss remarked.

"It doesn't matter how good you are, you don't have everything your own way all the time. That's always the case. We got a double whammy because the ball didn't swing and also the wicket died, so there was no real carry or menace with the ball, and that's always going to be tough for the seamers. We were forced to work very hard for those final wickets, but thankfully we came out the other side," the victorious England captain observed.

"It didn't look good and he understood that he overstepped the mark, and he has paid the price for it. What I would say is that, generally over the summer, he has been outstanding in terms of the way he has gone about his business, so let us just hope this is a one-off incident. It was an end-of-the-over chuck-the-ball-back when the batsman had gone down the wicket, and I don't think he meant to hit him. He was just throwing it back to the keeper,” he said when enquired about the Stuart Broad incident.

"He is maturing and learning from his mistakes, and I am very comfortable in my own head that this will be a one-off situation," Strauss believed.

"We have to remind ourselves all the time that there are lines there that you don't want to overstep, and Stuart received a timely reminder of that. But you want aggressive characters in your dressing room and guys who want to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and have a bit of fight about them, so it's always that managing of where the lines are, and making sure people don't overstep those boundaries," he added.

"Opening the batting in Test cricket can be tough at times and when you're down on confidence it can be exploited more than other areas in the batting line-up. Cooky has played some outstanding innings for England in the past, he's a very valuable member of our side, and I have every confidence he will come back and play some valuable innings in the near future. He's a top-quality opening bat, and four Tests don't change that," he said while defending his opening partner.

readmore »»

August 9, 2010

Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Cricket Festival completes 25 years


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival Cricket Tournament has completed its silver jubilee with the media launch of its new edition held at the Gymkhana’s Banquet Hall on August 9.

With the cricket ground unfit to hold the traditional opening ceremony, immediately after the media brief, due to the heavy downpour for the past few weeks, the organizers had to arrange for a special formal inauguration at the Banquet Hall in which the President of the Gymkhana, Younis Rizwani, and the representative of the sponsors, Zain Malik, did the honours.

The familiar figure of Mian Azmat Hussain, a Vice President of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) and an ex-Treasurer of the Karachi Gymkhana, was the master of the ceremony and he handled the proceedings in his typically elegant manner.

The Chairman of the Tournament Committee and the Convenor Sports, Hanif Habib, delivered a rather comprehensive welcome address in which he touched upon the highlights of the past 25 years of the tournament.

In what probably was his maiden appearance before the media after having taken over the reigns of the Karachi Gymkhana sports earlier this year, he thanked his committee members besides acknowledging the sponsors.

The President of the Gymkhana, Younis Rizwani, did not drag as his speech, like that of Hanif Habib, had already been printed in the brochure having been circulated to the members of the press before the start of the briefing.

He complimented the media for having covered the cricket tournaments in the past while urging them to pay special attention to the upcoming Silver Jubilee events.

“Karachi Gymkhana is one of the most elite and exclusive sports clubs of Pakistan which takes pride in providing wide variety of sporting activities. We have been extremely fortunate over the years to have complete support and good wishes of the electronic and print media,” he recognized.

He announced the enhancement of prizemoney of the tournament, with the winners to take home a very healthy purse of Rs 350,000 and the runners-up to pocket a sum of Rs 175,000. The losing semifinalists will be getting Rs 30,000 each and there would be a lot of individual cash awards too.

In his brief speech chief guest Zain Malik, Executive Director, Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd and Chief Executive, Galaxy Construction (Pvt) Ltd, expressed his delight to have been selected as the sponsors of the tournament.

The vote of thanks was presented by Karachi Gymkhana’s cricket captain, Masroor Mirza Ahmed, while the Gymkhana’s Cricket Secretary, Khurram Sadiq Mannoo, attended the ceremony despite being not in the best of health.

The draws of the 25th KG Ramazan Festival for Bahria Town Trophy had been taken out by the officials of the Tournament Committee in the presence of the representatives of the participating teams a few days earlier.

Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), Fact Date Engineering, Ideal Cricket and Advanced Telecom have been placed in Group A, Tapal Cricket Club, Sindh Police, A O Cricket Club and Pak Korangi constitute Group B, Medicam Group, Mohammad Hussain Cricket Club, Pak Gymkhana and UBL Academy feature in Group C and Omar Cricket Club, Vital Five, Malir Gymkhana and hosts Karachi Gymkhana have been drawn in Group D.

readmore »»

August 8, 2010

Another Laxman special defies odds


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

V V S Laxman continues to be not only the most stylish batsman of the generation but his ability to come good in crisis makes be truly special. What a gem of a knock he played at P Sara Oval in Colombo to guide India to a comfortable victory in the end in the third and final Test.

Mind you the pitch was doing all sort of tricks and the Sri Lankans bowlers, as usual while taking on India, were not prepared to give an inch. The scenario had become even grimmer for the visitors when Sachin Tendulkar got out in the most unfamiliar of fashions, gloving a seemingly innocuous delivering going down leg, and Laxman was not fully fit.

The century partnership between Tendulkar and Laxman had put India on course of victory but the match had become wide open in the afternoon session of the final day and the hosts had more than a just a glimmer of hope running away with the Test series 2-0.

Suresh Raina, playing only his second Test, joined Laxman at the fall of Tendulkar’s wicket and it were still the early days of their stand when the latter broke down to the extent of needing the help of a runner.

Virender Sehwag, who was chiefly instrumental in putting India into a tight corner with a dreaded duck on the fourth evening, returned to the field to do the duties of a runner for Laxman, just having completed his half century.

The limping Laxman was in obvious discomfort when stroking the ball but he knew the significance of his wicket that prompted him to keep going despite the pains in various parts of his body.

He showed tremendous courage by hooking and pulling Lasith Malinga whenever the speedster pitched it short on or outside leg stump. He was not afraid to come forward to middle the ball on a track whose bounce could not be trusted from day one.

Laxman must have known that his departure from the scene would have opened the floodgates for Sri Lanka as the batting conditions would have been even tougher for a new batsman at the crease.

Only Mahendra Singh Dhoni was left padded up in the dressing room among the specialist batsmen and India could have lost the plot very quickly in the event of the fall of another wicket.

Laxman had the dual responsibility of not staying their in the middle but also knock off the runs in order to bring the target down before more hiccups. He played superbly all along and it was a treat to watch his covering driving against the spin duo of Suraj Randiv and Ajantha Mendis on the weary track. Not many batsmen in the world would have dared hitting so boldly.

Raina also deserved a special mention for having rotated the strike besides playing a few adventurous shots to take the pressure off Laxman, who got to his hundred with another brilliant flick.

Statistically it was Laxman’s first century in the fourth innings of a Test match but he has certainly played quite a few better knocks than this one in more demanding conditions in his illustrious career.

readmore »»

Sajjad makes history of sorts in Thailand


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Mohammad Sajjad made Pakistan proud by creating history of sorts when he became the first Asian wildcard to capture a Thai ranking title, winning the SangSom Korat Cup 2010 on August 7.

Pakistan’s premier cueist was crowned as the champion at Klang Plaza Jomsurang in Nakhon Ratchasima city with a thrilling 5-4 victory over local favourite, Passakorn Suwannawat, in the final with the frame scores being 83-7, 0-98, 86-7, 71-40, 0-96, 18-68, 69-41, 14-78, 64-31. As expected it turned out be a close battle having kept the crowd on tenterhooks most of the time.

The victory earned Sajjad a handsome purse of 100,000 baht, while Passakorn had to be content with a cash prize of 50,000 baht for having ended as the runner-up but there was consolation for him in the shape of another 15,000 baht for scoring the highest break of the tournament, a total clearance of 142 points recorded in the quarter-finals.

"This was my toughest match of the tournament. I have been stretched to the limit before in the event but then I was not facing a rival of Passakorn's class,” the triumphant Sajjad remarked after outwitting the fancied rival in the final.

"I played very well in the beginning and remained positive about my chances of winning throughout the match. I gave him an opportunity at a wrong juncture and that helped him recover tremendously," he added.

Passakorn, who had entered the final as the obvious favourite after his consistent performance in the earlier games, was not short of praise for the new champion either.

"Sajjad is a very good player. I expected a good fight from him and he did give me one. I missed a number of chances that I should have taken towards the end of the match and that cost me the match," he complimented.

Sajjad, the 2010 Asian Championship runner-up, had created a sensation by toppling the reigning Thailand number one and former world champion Noppadon Noppachorn 4-2 in the semifinals with the scores of 18-57, 65-21, 121-10, 105-9, 17-70, 74-8. It has not been since 2005, when Moh Keen Ho of Malaysia had entered the final, that an Asian wildcard has earned a crack on a Thai ranking event title.

Sajjad was delighted to have overpowered Thailand’s top cueist. "I am so happy to have won today. He is one of the Thai Asian Games team players and it is a good morale booster for me in preparations for the Games in China later this year,” he was quoted as saying.

"I had not been playing as well as I wanted to and it was the 70-plus break in the third frame that got me going,” he reckoned.

The Korat Cup 2010 had commenced on August 2 with India’s number three Kamal Chawla and Bahrain's top cueist Habib Sabah being the other wild card entrants besides Sajjad, the eventual winner.

Sajjad had started his campaign by edging out Thai veteran Somporn Kunthawung 4-3 before registering another lucky 4-3 victory win over Thailand’s number 14 Pisit Chansri in the quarter-finals.

readmore »»

August 5, 2010

Wasim Hashmi decides to part ways with SOA


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The Honorary Treasurer of the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA), Syed Wasim Hashmi, has announced to quit the job due to personal reasons. It was a rather surprise move from him soon after having delivered a fiery speech in the general body meeting of the SOA held at the Asghar Ali Shah Stadium, Karachi, on August 1.

He took the house by surprise by announcing that he was stepping down from the post because of his preoccupations as tax lawyer. He, however, agreed to continue until his successor was elected when requested by the President of the SOA, Dr Syed Mohammad Ali Shah, who was in chair.

Wasim Hashmi, who was the Organizing Secretary of the 8th Sindh Games staged in Karachi in 1999, has remained associated with the provincial Olympic body for a long period of time but he was elected to the post of Treasurer only a couple of years ago.

His credentials both as a tax lawyer as well as a sports administrator are well established. He has had a clean record and his reputation as someone doing justice with the job is thoroughly intact.

There can be reasons which he may not like to disclose that prompted his decision to part ways with the SOA after having been on board for just two years. May be he became fed up with the politicking that has remained the hallmark of the SOA for the past so many years.

One can understand his point of view that he would be needed to travel a bit more often after opening a branch of his tax firm, Hashmi Associates, in Lahore later this month but does the SOA generate so much financial activity that he was required to be permanently based in Karachi to attend to it?

The SOA can come to life with the recent funding by the provincial government as a result of the solo efforts of Dr Mohammad Ali Shah but still one can’t anticipate that kind of activity level which Wasim Hashmi would have found difficult to handle even his own heavier business commitments.

I am not sure why nobody in the SOA general body came forward to him to enquire the actual reasons of quitting the post. Will anybody disagree from the fact that he’s the most suitable person for the job?

The SOA certainly needed a man of his integrity level to look after the financial matters at a stage when there indeed would be some events other than the Sindh Games, the Inter-Provincial Games and the National Games.

The SOA President, Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, who has injected a life in what has been a rubber-stamp body all along, should be little careful while accepting the resignation of Wasim Hashmi.

Probably Dr Shah, who has been living abroad more in the recent months for his treatment, didn’t expect it during the meeting. He just couldn’t grasp how and why did the sitting Treasurer chose to quit?

Wasim Hashmi may submit his resignation in writing shortly but Dr Shah will now have time to look into the pros and cons before accepting it or putting it up in the agenda for the future SOA meetings.

readmore »»

August 1, 2010

England’s seam bowlers bring Australian counterparts to shame


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Surprised by the headline? No mention of Pakistan in it. Well sometimes it does happen. The England pace trio of James Anderson, Chris Broad and Steve Finn just stuck to the basics to earn a convincing 354-run victory for their side in the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Inexperience is not the most appropriate word to describe the Pakistan batting line-up fielded in the first three Tests of the summer so far. It’s much worse than that. They are short of technique let alone any exposure to the conditions of England.

Ijaz Butt and his cronies have done a cruel joke with the nation and the game of cricket. By blooding the raw youngsters at key positions they have made a mockery of a term called merit.

That even the weakest of batting line-up to have taken to Test cricket for a long time managed to register a victory over Australia was attributed more to lady luck and the suicidal instincts of the opponents.

Australia had to stoop very low indeed to be able to lose a Test match to Pakistan in the English conditions. For doing that they had to commit a suicide and they did exactly that in the second Test at Headingley to ensure that they didn’t win the series.

Ricky Ponting’s decision to bat first under overcast sky after having called correctly was as much horrible as the bowling of Australian fast bowlers during both the Test matches and this has been proved by the Englishmen who just bowled in the right areas to expose Pakistan’s brittle batting.

I don’t know what the trio of Doug Bollinger, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus was doing in those two games. We are told that the Australians have the best cricket system in place in the world.

But if their top three fast bowlers are unable to produce the goods in favourable conditions then something must have gone somewhere. Either the selectors made the mistake of picking out-of-form guys or the managers were unable to keep them motivated.

Bollinger, Johnson and Hilfenhaus had played cricket at the international cricket having come up with sterling performances in the recent past. How all three of them became ineffective to the extent of useless remains a mystery?

If Ponting had to look to Shane Watson, Steve Smith and Marcus North for the wickets it really made a mockery of his plans. The Australian think-tank had probably made a blunder of lifetime somewhere.

Cricket remains a game of uncertainties and we can expect to have a lot of unexpected things in the field. But can we hope the powerful Australians to be laid low by a bunch of cricketers who themselves were short of confidence and struggling for survival.

Not sure how the Australians would be treating this odd defeat at Headingly but the bowling performance of England in the following Test at Trent Bridge has certainly made them look even uglier.

Andrew Strauss and his men have done nothing exceptional. Their batting also collapsed in both outings but the bowlers didn’t let the team down and the result was hardly ever in doubt. Birthday boy Anderson remained on song and his 11-wicket haul was a perfect gift to his teammates.

readmore »»

KPC Sports Festival concludes with a fabulous ceremony


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The prize distribution ceremony of the Karachi Press Club’s Summer Sports Festival 2010, held on July 30, turned out to be quite an event with the likes of Dr Mohammad Ali Shah and Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui making the occasion a memorable one.

The Ibrahim Jalees Hall was already packed to capacity when Shoaib Siddiqui, Secretary Sports & Youth Affairs to the Government of Sindh, arrived at 6.45 pm and then the convoy of Dr Shah reached the club within the next 15 minutes.

As planned the ceremony started at a few minutes past seven and the intensity remained high until the prizes were distributed after speeches by the two dignitaries and the top officials of the club.

As promised cash awards were disbursed among the top three position holders of all five tournaments. The winners were presented Rs 5,000 each and those having ended runner-up received Rs 3,000 each. There was also a purse of Rs 2,000 for each of those having finished third in their respective events.
Besides the cash there was also an incentive in the shape of a certificate of merit, documenting the award and carrying the signatures of Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, Shoaib Ahmed, Imtiaz Khan Faran, A H Khanzada and Syed Khalid Mahmood.

Khurram Baig, who won the table tennis tournament, was quick to remark that he would cherish the certificate and preserve it for a while. The statement was reflective of his positive mindset.

The other award winners were also quite delighted and it was very heartening indeed that all of them turned up to receive the award personally from the chief guest. A couple of them reached the venue a few minutes late but most importantly they made it and their moment of glory was seized by the camera.

The speeches of Dr Mohammad Ali Shah and Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui were music to the ears of the members of the Karachi Press Club who were thoroughly praised for their enthusiasm in the field of sports besides discharging their professional duties.

They were appreciative of the sporting spirit of the Governing Body of the club that took the decision to revive the Sports Festival.

The KPC officials present on the occasion also did not let go the opportunity of recognizing the monumental efforts of Dr Shah and Shoaib Siddiqui in bringing sports to life throughout the province. They have also been instrumental in building a solid relationship between the sports department of the Government of Sindh and the KPC.

Following were the prize winners:
Snooker: Masroor Afzal Pasha (Daily Times) 1st; Faizan Lakhani (Geo TV) 2nd; Qasim Khan (Dawn TV) 3rd
Chess: Anwar Mooraj (Freelance) 1st; Mohammad Shahid (Monthly Fanoos) 2nd; Hasan Mansoor (AFP) 2nd.
Scrabble: Mohammad Shahid (Monthly Fanoos) 1st; Mohammad Afaq (Daily Muqadma) 2nd; Irshad Ali (Aaj TV) 3rd.
Badminton: Jahangir Khan (APP) 1st; Azhar Sultan (Samaa TV) 2nd; Kaleemuddin (Geo TV) 3rd.
Table Tennis: Khurram Baig (Express Tribune) 1st; Mohammad Azhar (Din) 2nd; Mahmood Ahmed Khan (Mahshar) 3rd.

readmore »»

Recent Posts