Pakistan News & Features Services
A total of 32 outfits will be taking part in the HBL Inter-Schools Cricket Tournament 2014, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA).
The details about the tournament, to be spread over nearly two and half months, were unveiled in a media briefing by Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, and Aman Aziz Siddiqui, Head of Strategy & Investment, HBL, at the Karachi Gymkhana on September 15.
The top functionaries of the PVCA, Nadeem Omar, Brig Salahuddin and Iqbal Umar, were also present on the occasion, along with the chief of the HBL Sports Division, Abdul Raquib, the President of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, and the Head of the Aman Sports, Khwaja Obaid Ilyas. Besides the media corps, the representatives of the participating schools also attended the briefing.
It was announced that former Pakistan captains, Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi, both of whom are employed by HBL, will be making in an appearance in the tournament’s opening ceremony at the Karachi Gymkhana on September 18.
Fawad Ijaz Khan, in his speech, highlighted the role of the PVCA in the promotion of cricket at the grassroots level, as the association is holding seventh edition of the Inter-School Tournament in Karachi .
“We had launched the Inter-Schools cricket on the pattern of the Ruby Shield, which used to be the premier tournament of its kind and it’s still talked about with great awe. We have visualized something similar and we need supporters like HBL to join hands with us in making it an annual event,” he observed.
“By holding the Inter-Schools tournaments we have continually dispelled the impression that the PVCA was catering to the needs of the veteran cricketers only. This tournament is another strong reminder that we do care for the youngsters of the society as well,” Fawad Ijaz Khan emphasized.
Aman Aziz Siddiqui, Head of Strategy & Investment, HBL, remarked that his institution took pride in having been in the forefront in the development of sports over the years and they looked forward to playing their role as a responsible corporate citizen.
He agreed to look into the possibilities of transforming the HBL Inter-Schools Cricket into an annual event besides spreading it to other parts of the country as the idea was to promote the game from the grassroots level.
“Sports remains an integral part of education and we desire to play a proactive role in supporting activities aimed at facilitating the youngsters. Cricket and football are the two games we are concentrating on at the moment,” he added.
The participating teams have been divided equally in eight groups. The Group A comprises of HBL Schoolboys Whites, Behbud Boys Secondary School , Ladybird Grammar School and Foundation Public School while the Group B contains Habib Public School , Army Public School , Fatimiyah Boys School and Beaconhouse School PECHS.
The Group C features Kamran Public School , Aga Khan Higher Secondary School , Falconhouse Grammar School and Azeem Academy while the Group D is composed of Fahad Academy , New Standard Grammar School, Zeeshan Public School and Qadri Model School.
The quartet of St Patrick’s High School, Karachi Grammar School , Civil Aviation Authority School and Beaconhouse School North Nazimabad constitute the Group E while the Group F has the presence of St Paul ’s High School, Karachi Public School, Happy Home School and Rangers Public School .
The Group G includes Fahim School System, Ebrahim Ali Bhai School , Qamar-e-Bani Hashim School and Khan Secondary while the contestants in the Group H are HBL Schoolboys Greens, New Oxford Grammar School, The City School and Metropolitan Academy.
At the end of the league matches, the leaders of all the eight groups will be advancing to the knockout stage of the competition, starting with the quarter-finals. Both the semifinals as well as the final will be telecast live. The final will be played at the Karachi Gymkhana on November 27.