July 14, 2010

NBP, KCCA strengthen ties to promote club cricket


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The decline in the standard of club cricket in Karachi over the years has been debated for a long time but thankfully some concrete measures have been taken of late to revive it and take it to another level.

Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, who was elected as the Honorary Secretary of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) only recently, has been championing the cause of the revival of club for the past fours years or so and his tenure as Chairman of the KCCA Zone II had witnessed unprecedented activities throughout his area of jurisdiction.

Now when he has taken over as the Secretary of the whole KCCA there are hopes that he might be able to turn it around at the city level. It remains to be seen, however, how he tackles the ‘bureaucracy’ within the Association and if he’s able to spread the mission that he had initiated in his zone about four years ago.

The KCCA is fortunate to be blessed by a ‘loyal’ friend like National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) whose officials remain committed to carrying out its corporate social responsibility in letter and spirit.

It’s very heartening for the game of cricket that, primarily due to Iqbal Qasim, NBP has continued to support the KCCA in a big way and their joint efforts at the club level would certainly yield results.

“Four years ago our institution had felt that the club cricket throughout the country was facing problems. We at NBP decided to play our part in arresting the decline and initiated an event exclusively meant for the clubs. We launched the NBP-KCCA Premier League which has now become a regular annual event. We desire to make it a model tournament on the basis of which the teams of Karachi should be selected,” Iqbal Qasim, a former Test left-arm spinner now heading the Sports and CSR wing of NBP, remarked in the opening ceremony of the 5th NBP-KCCA Premier League.

“It’s a matter of great pleasure and satisfaction that NBP has joined hands with the KCCA to hold the Premier League for the fifth year running. I am confident that cricket will benefit immensely with this venture and new talent will emerge on the scene,” Prof Ejaz Farooqui, Secretary, KCCA, observed during his speech at the Karachi Gymkhana.

The details of the 5th NBP-KCCA Premier League 2010 were unveiled by Prof Siraj-ul-Islam Bukhari, President, KCCA, having been associated with the Association as Secretary for a number of years.

The total number of participating clubs are 28, having been divided equally in seven groups. The top team of each group will be advancing to the knockout stage, starting with the quarter-finals.

All the 48 matches of the tournament, to be supervised by the best available umpires, will be played on turf pitches and those will be 50-overs-a-side contests.

The winners will be receiving a cash bonus of Rs 75,000 while the runners-up will be getting a purse of Rs 50,000. There will be cash awards for the outstanding individual performers as well.

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