By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Boosted by the glowing tributes showered upon him, Jalaluddin, a former Test fast bowler, has pledged to continue working for the cause of the game until his last breath.
During his brief address in the launching ceremony of ‘2015: Jalaluddin’s Tribute Year’ here at the Karachi Gymkhana Banquet Hall on November 27, the highest qualified coach of the country vowed to have a lifetime attachment with the sport which has earned him fame and recognition.
Pakistan Customs has ventured to pay tribute to Jalaluddin in a befitting manner in view of his overwhelming contribution to the game of cricket. A grand gala dinner in his honour will be organized at a five-star hotel while an exhibition T-20 match between Pakistan Stars-XI and Pakistan Customs-XI, dedicated to him, will be staged at National Stadium, Karachi.
Some other side events like the launching of a book on the history of Pakistan Customs cricket and conducting a seminar on cricket coaching are also planned to be a part of the programme to be held in January-February 2015.
“I feel really touched and overwhelmed lavished by our departmental chiefs. I could not have made it where I am today without their unstinted support. They have been very considerate and accommodating towards the cause of sports in general and cricket in particular. Now it’s my duty to reciprocate by devoting the rest of my life in serving the interests of cricket as well as our department,” Jalaluddin, the founder chief coach of the Customs Cricket Academy (CCA), observed in an emotional tone.
He was responding to the compliments passed by Nazim Saleem, Chief Collector Enforcement, South, Nasir Masroor, Chief Collector Appraisement South, and Khalil Masood, Ex-member Customs and former Chairman, Corporate Law Authority.
“We have decided to celebrate 2015 as the tribute year to Jalaluddin, in recognition of his outstanding services as a player, a coach and as an administrator. He thoroughly deserves this honour. In fact we are late in doing it. Our department should have done it a few years ago,” Nazim Saleem reckoned.
“Having played a phenomenal role in the grooming of talented youngsters from all over the country at the state-of-the-art Customs Cricket Academy in Karachi, which he has been running for the last 15 years, he has contributed overwhelmingly to be acknowledged in a befitting manner,” the Chief Collector Enforcement stated.
“Everyone at Pakistan Customs feels proud of his accomplishments, single-mindedness and consistency of purpose. That’s why his departmental colleagues are excited about turning his benefit year’s events into a resounding success,” Nasir Masroor, Chief Collector Appraisement, remarked.
“Our collectorate has been looking after the cricket affairs at the Pakistan Customs and it’s mainly due to Jalaluddin’s efforts that we have gone from strength to strength over the years. He has played an awesome role in developing talent from the grassroots level. He has made the department proud with his accomplishments,” he complimented.
Khalil Masood, Ex-member Customs, recalled that day about three decades ago when he had appointed Jalaluddin at the Pakistan Customs on the basis of his cricketing abilities.
“It looks like ages ago when Jalaluddin was struggling to find a job. It was our good fortune that we offered him the employment which he gladly accepted. Since then he has proved a great asset for the department as well as the country. He has been doing a great service to the game by coaching the youngsters and turning them into professional cricketers,” the former Customs Collector said.
Prominent among those present on the occasion were Prof Siraj-ul-Islam Bokhari, former President, Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA) and Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates.