November 30, 2015

Gold Bridge Media become 17th PVCA National Seniors Cup regional champions


Pakistan News & Features Services 

Karachi Gold Bridge Media became the Southern region champions of the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015 by edging out holders Karachi Omar Associates by nine runs in the final at the National Stadium, Karachi, on November 29.

The prize distribution ceremony was held soon after the conclusion of the final in which Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Group, was the chief guest. Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd and Jalaluddin, a former Test fast bowler, were also present on the occasion. 

Karachi Gold Bridge Media will now combat the Northern region champions in the National Final, also to be held at the National Stadium, on December 18. 

A record number of 109 teams from all over the country entered the annual tournament, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), and sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd and Arif Habib Group. 

As expected, the final turned out to be a closely fought affair. Put into bat, Karachi Gold Bridge Media scored 228 for nine in the allotted 30 overs. Karachi Omar Associates came up with a befitting reply but they were derailed by a middle-order collapse and finished at 219 for eight in 30 overs. 

The 112-run third wicket partnership between Aamir Iqbal and Rizwan Qureshi consolidated Karachi Gold Bridge Media’s position after skipper Mukhtar Ahmed, who opened the innings, set the tone by whacking six fours in his 33 off 24 balls. 

The momentum was sustained after his departure as Aamir Iqbal smashed one six and 11 fours in his 89 off 69 balls while Rizwan Qureshi belted nine boundaries in his 62 off 48 balls to ensure a commanding total for their side. 

Karachi Omar Associates pulled it back with late wickets through the spin trio of Iqbal Shaikh (2-24), Jaffer Qureshi (2-33) and Saifullah Magsi (2-35).to restrict their opponents to 228 for nine, after they appeared poised for a bigger total. 

Jaffer Qureshi fell early in the chase of 229 but Karachi Omar Associates was kept afloat by his opening partner Sajid Ali, who made 56 off 48 balls with the aid of one six and seven fours. 

Iqbal Shaikh’s whirlwind 60 off 37 balls with the help of one six and seven fours put Karachi Omar Associates in front with Azhar Khan (33 off 27 balls) also contributing his bit. At 173 for three the defending champions were the firm favourites to win the game as they only needed 56 with seven wickets in hand. 

The course of the match was changed by off-spinner Abdul Waheed (2-30) and left-arm spinner Rizwan Qureshi (2-44) as they picked up vital wickets in quick succession. 

The lower-order batsmen tried to win the day for Karachi Omar Associates but they narrowly missed the mark. Karachi Gold Bridge Media’s Rizwan Qureshi was declared Man of the Match for his fine all-round performance.

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November 26, 2015

CCA revives Inter-Academy Cricket League


By Syed Khalid Mahmood 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Six of the leading academies of the country will be taking part in the second edition of the NBP Inter-Academy Cricket League 2015, being organized by the Customs Cricket Academy (CCA), which will be inaugurated on November 28 with the CCA to take on NBP Cricket Academy in the opening match of the tournament at the NBP Sports Complex, housed in Clifton.

Besides the CCA and NBP Cricket Academy the other participating teams will be from Moin Khan Cricket, Rashid Latif Cricket Academy, PIA Cricket Academy and UBL Cricket Academy. The details about the event, whose inaugural edition was held in 2010, were unveiled by Jalaluddin, a former Test fast bowler and Head Coach of the CCA, in a media briefing at the Karachi Gymkhana on November 28. 

“It’s going to be an Under-19 tournament and the cricketers, born on or after January 10, 1997, will be eligible to take part in it. Only those players registered with the academy will qualify to represent the team. All the participating academies have submitted their 20-member squad to the organizing committee,” Jalaluddin informed. 

“There will be no entry fee for the tournament but a payment of Rs 2,000 will be needed if changes in the squad are desired by any of the participating team. Any player infringing the rules will be debarred from the event and the team will be fined upto Rs 5,000,” he added. 

“Although the tournament will be having limited-overs games with each team to play a maximum of 40 overs, they will have the flavor of four-day matches as well. Second new ball will be available after 30 overs. Similarly batting and bowling points will be awarded as incentives besides crediting nine points for an outright win and six points for a winning draw,” Jalaluddin explained. 

“The idea behind reviving the event is to improve the quality of cricket from grassroots level. Although the tournament is being organized after a gap of five years, now every effort will be made to hold it annually,” he announced. 

The tournament will be spread over six weeks and all its matches will be staged on Saturdays and Sundays in order to facilitate the participating students. 

Khalil Masood, one of the founders of the CCA and a former Chairman of the Corporate Law Authority, expressed his delight with the continued growth of the academy which was established with great fanfare in 1999. 

Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates, emphasized on the significance of grooming young talent and providing them the best possible facilities. He urged the philanthropists to support the sporting activities generously for the sake of the nation. 

Javed Mansha, representing the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), talked about the role of his organization in promoting sports and he hoped that the legacy will live on. 

Owais Asad Khan, Incharge of the Sports & CSR Division of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), vowed to continue supporting the cause of sports in the same manner as his worthy predecessor. He also threw light on the significance of educating the athletes to let them become more successful in their careers. 

Prominent among the former cricketers present on the occasion included batting great Sadiq Mohammad, Azeem Hafeez, Sajid Ali, Anwar-ul-Haq, Sagheer Abbas, Athar Laeeq and Jawwad Ali.

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October 21, 2015

Nadeem Omar condemns Mumbai violence, asks PCB to campaign for shifting World T20 out of India


Pakistan News & Features Services

Prominent sports promoter and Managing Director of Omar Associates, Nadeem Omar, has condemned the recent incidents of violence in India involving Shiv Sena extremists, as well as the negative approach of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), advising that Pakistan must now lead a vociferous campaign for the shifting of next year`s World T20 tournament from India.

Nadeem lamented that all the sincere efforts made by the Pakistan government and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the past few months to revive bilateral cricketing ties with India have not been reciprocated by the Indian government or the BCCI at any level whatsoever. 

`India`s hostile and inflexible approach towards PCB chief Shaharyar Khan`s repeated efforts to revive bilateral cricket series is totally unjustified, rather insulting,` Nadeem regretted.  
`I strongly feel that we should now forget about appeasing the Indians to play cricket with Pakistan because our self respect and pride is at stake now after the incidents on October 19,” he added 

Nadeem emphasized that Pakistan must take the lead now to launch a campaign for change of venue of the World T20 from India because people lives are at risk there. 

"There is a serious security situation in India now insofar the visiting teams and officials are concerned,” Nadeem, who patronizes a number of sports and sportsmen in the country, observed. 

`Look what happened to senior and respected umpire like Aleem Dar and how he was withdrawn in a jiffy by the ICC who shamelessly bowed to Shiv Sena demands,” Nadeem pointed out. 

`The Indians have yet again projected their narrow-mindedness and biased approach towards Pakistan by mixing sports with politics,” he said. 

“They have not spared the South Africans either, simply because they are taking the better of India at home, but the ICC unfortunately is turning a blind eye to it all,” he added. 

`That is why I am insisting that Pakistan must take a firm stand and should garner support from leading cricketing nations like England, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies to shift the 2016 World T20 from India due to serious security concerns there,” Nadeem concluded.

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August 29, 2015

Bridge Nationals 2015 in November


Pakistan News & Features Services

The Silver Jubilee edition of the National Bridge Championship is scheduled to be held in November at Karachi with Islamabad being the alternate venue.

Gulzar Bilal, Secretary, Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF), has announced that the Bridge Nationals 2015, offering prize money to the tune of Rupees half a million, will be staged from November 6 to 9. 

He added that the trials to select the national team to represent the country in the next year’s World Mind Sports Games will be conducted on IMP pairs basis during the month of December. 

The PBF Secretary disclosed that efforts were being made to celebrate the silver jubilee of the National Championships in a befitting manner and bigger cash awards are being offered to the top performers. 

“Obviously the 25th edition of the National Bridge Championship is going to be a landmark event for us and we would like to make it a memorable experience. We expect around 20 to 25 outfits in the Team Championship whereas more the participation in the pairs event is anticipated to be over 100,” Gulzar Bilal, himself one of the best exponents of the game in the country, stated. 

“Besides the lion’s share in the prize money, the winning team will also receive a running trophy. Cash prizes have been disbursed to the top performers in the past as well but this time the amount will be higher,” he continued.

“As in the past, the National Championship will remain an open event for the bridge players from all over the country and the deadline for confirming entries will be November 5,” the PBF Secretary declared.

It may be recalled that both the finalists of the last edition of the National Bridge Championship hailed from Karachi. Puri Real Estate had emerged triumphant in the title clash, having outwitted Bilal Sindh in the final.

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Pakistan Veterans remain undefeated on England tour


Pakistan News & Features Services

Pakistan Panthers Veterans remained undefeated on the tour of England as they overpowered Middlesex County Cricket Club by 33 runs in their last game staged at the St Mary Cricket Club Harrow Ground on August 28.

Batting first, Pakistan Veterans posted a healthy total of 276 for nine in the stipulated 40 overs. Then they contained Middlesex CCC to 243 for seven in 40 overs to win the match handsomely. 

They had defeated Dorset Veterans by 34 runs in their opening match at the Dean Park in Bournemouth while their other two games, against Surrey CCC and Hampshire CCC, were abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rains. 

Sajid Ali was the declared as the batsman for Pakistan on the tour while Fawad Ijaz Khan was adjudged as the best bowler. 

Rain stayed away from their fourth and final game which turned out to be a high-scoring fixture with as many as 519 runs being scored in 80 overs of play. 

The Pakistan Veterans skipper, Fawad Ijaz Khan, won the toss yet again and opted to bat first. Opener Sajid Ali picked up from where he had left in the last game in which he had scored 94 off 89 balls. His 108-run partnership with Rizwan Nisar laid the foundation for a mammoth score. 

Sajid Ali, having represented Pakistan in One-day Internationals, smashed four sixes and six fours in his 70 off 54 balls while Rizwan Nisar hammered half a dozen boundaries in his 50 off 41 balls. The loss of a few quick wickets slowed down the rate of scoring but the innings was revived by Moin Khan, a former Pakistan captain, who whacked two sixes and three fours in his 31 off 28 balls. 

The onslaught in the death overs by Raja Arshad, who blasted five sixes in his breezy 39 off 17 balls, lifted the total with Naeem Ashraf (36 off 25 balls) and Sajjad Ahmed (22 off 16) also making useful contributions down the order. Alexander Keith (3-79), K Desai (2-38) and Reingold Mark (2-48) shared the wickets for the home side. 

Chasing a formidable target of 277, Middlesex CCC lost early wickets and even the centurion Reingold Mark, who unleashed five sixes and 15 fours in his 116 off 74 balls, could not change the course of the match. 

The hosts were restricted to 243 for seven with medium-pacer Shahid Mahboob (2-21) and left-arm spinner Fawad Ijaz Khan (2-56) being the most successful bowlers from the visiting side. 

A sizeable crowd watched the match which was also attended by former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal, West Indian fast bowling great, Michael Holding, former Pakistan fast bowler, Jalaluddin, and celebrated cricket writer, Qamar Ahmed. Later in the evening, a dinner reception was hosted in honour of the team by the local Pakistani Community which was largely attended and covered extensively by media.

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August 24, 2015

Sajid Ali, Fawad Ijaz Khan excel in Pakistan Veterans’ victory in England


Pakistan News & Features Services 

Opener Sajid Ali powered Pakistan Panthers Veterans to 34-run victory over Dorset Veterans in their first match of the tour of England held at the Dean Park in Bournemouth on August 23.

Batting first, Pakistan Veterans scored 174 for eight in the allotted 30 overs. Then they restricted Dorset Veterans to 140 for nine in 30 overs to win the match comfortably in the end. 

The start to the game was delayed due to rain and it became 30-overs-a-side encounter instead of being the originally planned 40-overs-a-side contest. 

The Pakistan Veterans skipper, Fawad Ijaz Khan, won the toss and elected to bat. Sajid Ali held the innings together with a gritty 94 off 89 balls, hitting 14 boundaries, after the loss of a couple of early wickets. 

He received invaluable support from Nadeem Omar (18 off 26 balls), Najeeb Sadiq (18 off 28 balls) and Fawad Ijaz Khan (14 off 14 balls) as the total reached respectable proportions despite fine bowling from Joe Wilson (3-33) and Jim Ryall (2-25). 

Chasing a target of 175 in 30 overs, Dorset Veterans got off to flying start through the opening pair of Jim Rayall (35 off 40 balls) and John Young (26 off 29 balls). It was Fawad Ijaz Khan’s left-arm spin which turned the tide in the visiting team’s favour. After breaking the 67-run opening partnership, he picked up a couple of more wickets to return the figures of three for 36 off six overs. 

Dorset Veterans lost the plot after the fall of wickets in rapid succession and the run outs of two too-order batsmen, Mike Harper and Dave Miller, didn’t help their cause either. They were contained to 140 for nine in the stipulated 30 overs. 

Sajid Ali was adjudged Man of the Match in the presentation ceremony in which souvenir and mementos were also exchanged between the officials of the two teams. Richard Turner and Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle were the two umpires during the match. 

Meanwhile Pakistan Panthers Veterans, besides undertaking a visit of the historic Lord’s Cricket Ground on August 25, will be playing matches against Surrey CCC, Hampshire CCC and Middlesex CCC, during their one-week tour.

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August 20, 2015

Pakistan Bridge Federation rewards victorious outfits


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF) has rewarded the seniors and the women team of the country for having triumphed in their respective events of the 18th Asia and Middle East Bridge Championships 2015 held in Amman, Jordan, earlier this year.

In fact it turned out be quite a memorable reunion of Pakistan’s bridge stalwarts and the sumptuous dinner served in the lush green lawn on a most pleasant evening brought smiles on every face attending the event. 

Cheques of Rupees three lacs each were presented to the captains of both the winning teams during a dinner reception hosted in their honour by Mohammad Nawab Yousuf Talpur, President, PBF, at his DHA residence in Karachi on August 17. 

Pakistan’s seniors outfit comprised of Azhar Hamid, Iftikhar Baqai, Mirza Shauq Hussain, Zakir Mahmood, Masood Mazhar and Kamran Ibrahim, while the national women team featured Rubina Agha, Zeenat Azwer, Qudsia Dossa, Roshan Bokhari, Rubina Hai and Fatima Reza. 

By virtue of winning the zonal trophies, both the teams have also qualified for the World Bridge Championships, due to be staged in Chennai, India later this year. They will be taking part in the 8th d’Orsi Seniors Trophy and the 20th Venice Cup to be held alongwith the 42nd Bermuda Bowl and the 10th Transnational Teams Championships from September 26 to October 15.

The cheques were collected by Kamran Ibrahim and Roshan Bokhari, who captained the seniors and women outfits respectively. 

Speaking on the occasion, the PBF President hailed the performance of the seniors and women teams in the zonal event, expressing the hope that their feat will be helpful in boosting bridge in Pakistan. 

Nawab Yousuf Talpur talked about the federation’s plans to initiate a programme aimed at promoting the sport from the grassroots level in order to it to the masses. 

“Our current and former players have done an exceedingly good job over the years. But we need to look to the future and we have to expand the base. We need a broader pool of players in order to produce high quality players on a regular basis,” he remarked. 

Gulzar Bilal, Secretary, PBF, added that they already have finalized a plan to mobilize the youngsters and they look forward to implementing it in the very near future. 

“We are at it and we would be launching the programme for youth shortly. We do have talented and passionate youngsters playing bridge in the country which augurs well for the future,” he reckoned. 

The ceremony was attended among others by Mazhar Jafri, Khurshid Hadi and Tariq Raheed Khan, all of whom having headed the PBF in the past. The other prominent bridge players present on the occasion included Abdul Rahman Allana, Shahin Iqbal, Ghalib Bandesha, Maj (retd) Masood Zaidi, Rashid-ul-Ghazi, Hasan Askari, Dr Minhaj Kidwai and Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi.

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January 30, 2015

Salman Ali, Adnan Khan smash centuries in 17th National Seniors Cup


Pakistan News & Features Services

Textile Tigers, Apollo Sports, Turk Plast, Muslim Eagles, Amar Cables and Aftab Qarshi registered victories over their respective rivals in the Northern Zone matches of the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA). 

A record number of 109 teams from all over the country have entered the tournament being sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd and Arif Habib Group. 

In the matches held in Lahore, Textile Tigers defeated Shah Jamal Greens by 43 runs at the Stag Ground, Apollo Sports outwitted Kot Khwaja Saeed Cricket Club by five wickets at the Allama Iqbal Institute Ground, Amar Cables whipped Muridke Tigers by seven wickets at the Shah Faisal Ground, Aftab Qarshi overcame Chaudhary Sports by 18 runs at the Stag Ground and Turk Plast hammered Hajveri Sports by 75 runs while Muslim Eagles outplayed Bahawalpur Greens by nine wickets at the Sports Ground in Multan. 

Textile Tigers scored 219 for seven in the allotted 30 overs with Rizwan Nisar (63), Mujahid Jamshed (53) and Tauseef Mughal (44 not out) scoring substantially while Sohail Ahmed (3-45) and Alamgir Ahmed (2-32) bowled well. In reply Shah Jamal Greens was routed for 176 in 26.3 overs despite fine knocks from Mahmood Ahmed (46) and Salman Khalid (36). The innings was wrecked by Mujahid Jamshed (6-26). 

Batting first, Apollo Sports scored 272 for nine in 40 overs with Ayub Khan (52), Bilal Ali (40) and Salman Ahmed (35) being leading scorers. The wickets were shared between Bilal Aslam (3-50), Ali Raza (2-49) and Owais Tariq (2-24). Salman Ali scored 101 to steer Kot Khwaja Saeed CC to victory as they reached the target of 278 in 36.4 overs with five wickets in hand. Sherbaz Khan (55) and Owais Tariq (30 not out) also batted well. 

Muridke Tigers was bowled out for 146 in 29.4 overs by Amar Cables for whom Shakeel Malik returned figures of five for 30 after Wasim Fazil (32), Haider Ali (26) and Sarfaraz Hussain (25) laid foundation for a bigger total. Afzal Shah (53 not out), Jamshed Sulaiman (43) and Saleem Malik (36 not out) scored briskly as Amar Cables raced to the target of 147 in 23.3 overs losing only three wickets, all of them captured by Mohsin Javed. 

Rasheed Akhtar (49), Abdul Waheed (43) and Moshin Aftab Qarshi (42) enabled Aftab Qarshi to reach a total of 196 for nine in 30 overs with Naveed Sufi (3-17) and Fayyaz Bhatti (2-30) being the pick of the bowlers. In reply, Chaudhary Sports was all out for 181 in 29.2 overs with Abid Shaikh (41) being the top scorer. The main wicket-takers were Tariq Hussain (3-24), Abdul Ghafoor (3-42) and Moshin Aftab Qarshi (2-29). 

Javed Hafeez took five wickets for 23 runs to power Turk Plast to a convincing victory over Hajveri Sports, who was restricted to 159 for nine in 30 overs despite Saleem Malik’s 48.Earlier Turk Plast amassed 234 for four in 30 overs with major contributions coming from Abdul waheed (93), Dastagir Ahmed (67) and Hammad Maqbool (44). 

Adnan Khan’s unbeaten 118 powered Muslim Eagles to crushing nine-wicket win over Bahawalpur Greens, who had been contained to 197 for six in 25 overs despite fine knocks from Fawad Anwar (67), Khurshid Ahmed (43) and Mohammad Javed (39). Muslim Eagles reached the target in 22.2 overs with Iftikhar Afzal (38 not out) and Nasir Khan (34) also contributing their bit.

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January 22, 2015

Karachi CDC edge out Quetta in 17th National Seniors Cup


Pakistan News & Features Services

Karachi CDC registered a thrilling five-run victory over Quetta Seniors in the latest encounter of the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA). 

Nadeem Shaikh’s century enabled Karachi CDC to post a competitive total of 180 for five in the stipulated 22 overs. Brilliant knocks from Naseem Khan and Ziauddin put Quetta Seniors in winning position but a dramatic collapse saw them lose five wickets for only three runs and they fell six runs short of the target. 

A record number of 109 teams from all over the country have entered the tournament, which got underway on January 18. The annual event, which will be played over three months, is being sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd and Arif Habib Group. Electing to bat, after winning the toss, Karachi CDC lost a couple of early wickets. 

Opener Nadeem Shaikh, who hammered 16 boundaries in his 106 off 68 balls, took charge by adding exactly one hundred for the third wicket with Fayyaz whose contribution was 36 off 29 balls with the help of one six and two fours. Left-arm spinner Aziz Tunio grabbed a couple of wickets for 21 runs which prevented quick runs in the death overs and the local side had to settle with a score of 180. 

Chasing a target of 181 in 22 overs, Quetta Seniors moved in the driving seat with the wonderful 134-run second wicket stand between opener Ziauddin and number three Naseem Khan. While Ziauddin was content in playing second fiddle, Naseem blasted the bowling attack. 

Ziauddin contributed a sedate 57 off 50 balls with the aid of four boundaries and Naseem hammered one six and 14 fours in his rapid 90 off 46 balls. Their dismissal changed the complexion of the game. Left-arm spinners Kamran Umar (3-24) and Fariduddin (3-38) caused the slump and bowled Karachi CDC to victory which had looked unlikely until few moments ago. The Man of the Match award, however, was clinched by their teammate Nadeem Shaikh for his fluent century.

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January 21, 2015

Holders Karachi Omar Associates begin campaign on winning note


Pakistan News & Features Services

Defending champions Karachi Omar Associates began on a winning note in the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA). 

Karachi Omar Associates registered a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Quetta Seniors at the RLCA Ground while Karachi Rashid Latif overwhelmed Quetta Seniors by seven wickets at the Hussain Lawai Naya Nazimabad Stadium. 

A record number of 109 teams from all over the country have entered the tournament, which got underway on January 18. The annual event, to be spread over three months, is being sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd and Arif Habib Group. 

Fine bowling from Karachi Omar Associates limited Quetta Seniors to a total of 93 for three in the allotted 15 overs with Shakeel Ahmed remaining unbeaten on 25 off 30 balls and Raja Gulfam left undefeated on 19 off 15 balls. Mohammad Maqbool chipped in with 23 off 16 balls while the wickets were shared between off-spinners Mahmood Khan (2-30) and Iqbal Shaikh (1-15). 

After the early exit of both the openers, Karachi Omar Associates regained control through the pair of Azhar Khan and Iqbal Shaikh who took them over the line with more than four overs to spare. They added 77 for the third wicket without being separated. 

Azhar smashed three sixes and as many fours in his 47 off 28 balls while Iqbal, who was adjudged Man of the Match, whacked three sixes and two fours in his 37 off 25 balls. 

Quetta Seniors lost their way after a solid start against Karachi Rashid Latif to be restricted to 142 for seven in the allotted 25 overs. They appeared poised for a bigger total after reaching 80 for the loss of only one wicket but they were derailed by the spin duo of Habib Rahman (3-22) and Saif Khan (2-32). 

Opener Zia Kansi struck one six and two fours in his 42 off 52 balls, Raja Gulfam hit a six and a four in his 30 off 22 balls while Naseem Khan (18 off 25 balls) and Raj Hans (17 off 23 balls) also reached double figures. 

Karachi Rashid Latif chased down the target of 143 in just 13.3 overs with opener Asif Siddiqui, who was declared Man of the Match, hammering 80 off 37 balls with the help of a six and 15 fours. He added 92 for the second wicket with Omar Masood, who remained undefeated with 36 off 38 balls. Off-spinner Raj Hans took two of the three wickets to fall during the innings.

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January 19, 2015

17th National Seniors Cup off to a cracking start


Pakistan News & Features Services

On a day when South Africa’s skipper A B de Villiers smashed the fastest century in One-day International at Johannesburg there were a few blazing knocks also on the opening day of the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA).

A record number of 109 teams from all over the country have entered the tournament which was inaugurated by Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground on January 18. 

In the Southern Zone matches held on the opening day, Karachi Gymkhana overwhelmed Karachi A A Pakwan by 65 runs at Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground, Karachi Gold Bridge defeated Karachi Airport by 32 runs at the TMC Ground and Combined XI outsmarted Quetta Veterans by 72 runs at the Hussain Lawai Naya Nazimabad Stadium. 

Kamran Hussain’s sensational 36-ball 65, containing one six and seven fours allowed Karachi Gymkhana to post a commanding total of 205 for five in 22 overs after the foundation was laid by Mazhar Ali (50 off 36 balls) and Fayyaz Abbas (41 off 34 balls). Medium-pacer Javed Ali (3-39) was the pick of the bowlers. 

Karachi A A Pakwan, in reply, crashed to 55 for six before being bowled out for 140 in 19.3 overs despite fighting knocks from Irfanullah (46 off 41 balls) and Mairaj-ul-Haq (40 off 30 balls). The top-order was rocked by medium-pacers Shakeel Ahmed (3-23) and Kamran Hussain (2-15) while leg-spinner Murtaza Habib (2-8) finished the job. Kamran Hussain of Karachi Gymkhana was declared Man of the Match for his fine all-round performance. 

It was another Kamran Hussain who played the pivotal role in guiding Karachi Gold Bridge to victory over Karachi Airport. He earned the distinction of scoring the first century of the competition and he blasted 114 off 66 balls with the help of 21 boundaries which enabled Karachi Gold Bridge to reach a total of 222 for six in 22 overs. Medium-pacer Sagheer Abbas (2-41) and left-arm spinner Ali Akbar (2-50) were the most successful bowlers in their innings.

Karachi Airport got off to a flying start through openers Athar Laeeq (69 off 38 balls) and Raees Ahmed (41 off 23 balls) but lost the momentum against the spin duo of Zafar Ali (4-29) and Abdul Waheed (3-5) to be bowled out for 194 in 21 overs. 

Opener Nazim Wahab, adjudged Man of the Match, blasted four sixes and fours in his blazing knock of 78 from only 58 balls while Ashar Ali whacked seven sixes and two four in his rollicking 69 off 36 balls which powered Combined XI to an impressive total of 213 for four in the stipulated 22 overs. 

Chasing a formidable total, Quetta Veterans could not recover after losing early wickets and they were later tormented by leg-spinner Sohail Ahsan (4-33). They finished at 141 for six with Raju Gulfam (45 off 45 balls) being their top scorer.

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January 17, 2015

Record participation in 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015


Pakistan News & Features Services 

A record number of 109 teams from every nook and corner of the country will be participating in the 17th National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament 2015 which gets underway on January 18.

The inaugural Match of the Southern Zone will be played between Karachi Gymkhana and Karachi A A Pakwan at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground in which Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, will be the chief guest. The Northern Zone matches will also be starting simultaneously at the upcountry venues.

The salient features of the tournament, being sponsored by IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd with Arif Habib Group being the co-sponsors, were unveiled by Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), in a well-attended media briefing here at the Karachi Gymkhana Banquet Hall on January 17. 

He revealed that the total cost on the tournament, during which a record 218 matches will be held, was estimated to be in the region Rupees five million which includes the prizemoney of Rs 609,000. He explained that the operational costs were on the higher side while organizing the Northern Zone matches. 

It was disclosed that the 109 participating teams from 61 cities have been divided in 29 Groups. There will be 72 outfits from Punjab, 18 from Khyber Pakhtunkwa and Islamabad , 10 from Karachi and Balochistan and nine from the interior of Sindh. The national final, to be telecast live, will be played between the champions of North Zone and South Zone here at the National Stadium on April 19. 

Corrado Fabi, Chief Executive Officer, IMI Omar (Pvt) Ltd, spoke about his growing love for the game of cricket and right away offered to double the sponsorship amount for the tournament. 

“Football is the most popular sport in Italy where I live with motor racing being next on the list. I have been introduced to cricket by Nadeem Omar and I have found the game quite thrilling one. Watching the passion which everyone has for cricket here, I am sure the sport has a firm foothold in Pakistan,” Corrado Fabi, himself a former Formula One driver, observed. 

The owner of one of the most famous talc producing companies, IMI Fabi, expressed his delight at the success of the National Seniors Cup Cricket Tournament which has been organized by the PVCA annually for the past 17 years. 

Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, in his brief speech, paid glowing tribute to the PVCA Chairman, Fawad Ijaz Khan, and his team, for having organized the National Seniors Cup every year. 

“It’s an uphill task managing such an event in which teams from every part of the country is encouraged to take part. It’s really a phenomenal achievement to have been able to do regularly for so long,” he commended. 

The Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), established in 1998 at Karachi , is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) since 2001 as the sole representative cricket organization for Seniors/Veterans Cricket in Pakistan. 

Having attained international recognition, besides proving its organizational mettle at the national level, the PVCA has been actively promoting schools cricket alongside the seniors, veterans and also the super veterans cricket. 

The National Seniors Cup, played annually amongst the selected teams of various cities, has become the flagship event of the PVCA since 1998. Omar Associates are the defending champions this year.

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January 5, 2015

Young Ahsan Parvez shines in Mr Lahore contest


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi  
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Twenty year old Ahsan Parvez made it and set a record by winning 4th position in senior 65-Category Mr Lahore bodybuilding competition organized by the Pakistan Body Building Federation at the famous Al-Hamra Hall in Lahore.

He has become the youngest position-holder in this senior class category of Mr Lahore Bodybuilding Competition 

“It was my dream to become a body builder, and I have achieved it now”, the promising youngster stated while talking to the media. 

Born and raised in the historic city of Lahore, Ahsan, said that he has already started preparations to participate in the Mr University Competition due to be held a couple of months later. 

A fourth semester software engineering student at the University of Lahore Ahsan remarked that he loved his country and city very much. 

“Since my early childhood I had an inclination to become a bodybuilder whenever I saw Arnold on my television set and I felt right at the core of my heart that I can emulate him,” he stated 

“I dreamt of being a perfect bodybuilder by seeing modern western world as it was portrayed in movies and international body building championships competition,” Ahsan added. 

He disclosed having started workout two years back when he was 18. Although it was a tough undertaking for him, his fierce determination to succeed enabled him to stay focused and achieve his goal. 

He said that his studies did not come in the way and he is confident that if he claims a position in the Mr University Competition, he will be able to concentrate more on his scholastic activities and hopefully also get scholarship from the university as he already is the topper of his batch. 

He said he worked out really hard at the fitness centre, Muscles and Fitness, owned by most respected personality of Pakistan Bodybuilding Federation, Mounas Choudery. 

“He always had faith in me and always encouraged me by saying that you can do it. He is my true inspiration my coach,” Ahsan acknowledged. 

 “I had planned to debut in bodybuilding competition at our university I was training for it under my coach. I had never planned to appear in Mr Lahore competition as a participant. But my coach has always supported me. He got my name registered for Mr Lahore competition and I have truly fulfilled his expectations,” the young bodybuilder concluded.

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January 4, 2015

Jubilee National Junior Snooker Championship 2015 from Jan 5


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Quite a few newcomers will be trying their luck in the seventh edition of the Jubilee Insurance National Junior (Under-21) Snooker Championship 2015 which cues off at the Movenpick Hotel in Karachi on January 5.

According to the draws released by the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), the 30 participating cueists, representing all the four provinces and the federal capital, have been divided in eight groups. 

The Group A comprises of Abdul Rahim (Punjab), Khushi Mohammad (Balochistan) and Sanaullah Sattar (Sindh) while the Group B contains Ali Zaman Khan (Sindh), Junaid Babar (KPK) and Haris Tahir (Punjab). 

The quartet of Ahsan Wakeel (KPK), Mohammad Ibrahim (Balochistan), Sameer Khan (Sindh) and Mohammad Ali (Punjab) constitute the Group C while Nouman Iqbal (Islamabad), Hazratullah (KPK), Mohammad Afzal (Punjab) and Junaid Ali (Sindh) feature in the Group D. 

The Group E is composed of Taimoor Aftab (Balochistan), Sameer-ul-Hassan (Sindh), Mohammad Azam (KPK) and Mohammad Saqib (Punjab) while the Group F has the presence of Fahad Khan (Sindh), Saifullah (Punjab), Athar Ali (Balochistan) and Umar Javed (KPK). 

Mohammad Fahim (Punjab), Mohammad Hassan Anwar (Islamabad), Tanvir Baloch (Sindh) and Rabi-ul-Hasan (Balochistan) have been drawn in the Group G while Mohammad Kashif (KPK), Mohammad Adil (Balochistan), Aamir Tariq (Punjab) and Gawish Khan (Sindh) are included in the Group H. 

The qualifying round matches will be best-of-five frame encounters while the pre-quarter-finals and the quarter-finals will be best-of-seven frame contests. The semifinals will be best-of-nine frame fixtures while the final will be best-of-11 frame clash. 

The league matches, starting on January 5, will be spread over three days at the end of which the top two cueists from each groups will be qualifying for the knockout stage of the competition, starting with the pre-quarter-finals on January 8 The six-day event will be concluding with the final and the prize distribution ceremony on January 10. 

The championship, being sponsored by the Jubilee Insurance Group, offers prize money of Rs 130,000 with the winner to collect Rs 50,000 and the runner-up to get Rs 25,000. The losing semifinalists will be receiving Rs 15,000 each and the losing quarter-finalists will be compensated with Rs 5,000 each. The highest break award will earn a purse of Rs 5,000. 

The PBSA has declared that both the finalists of the event will qualify to represent the country in the Asian Under-21 Championship 2015 to be staged in China in April, as well as in the World Under-21 Championship to be held in the second half of the year. 

The PBSA, pursuant to its policy of encouraging the promising youngsters, has also decided to let the four semifinalists of the National Junior Championship to compete in the all the four national ranking tournaments of the year.

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