June 17, 2016

Tai’s Karate Centre hosts Grand Iftar reception


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Tai’s Karate Centre, the most famous of all martial arts institutions of the country, hosted an Iftar-dinner reception in the honour of its students at its international headquarters, housed at the KGA Gymkhana in Karachi, on June 16.

Around two hundred persons, mostly the trainees of the centre alongwith their instructors and support staff, besides representatives of media, attended the ceremony which was organized by Mukhtar Ahmed, one of senior black belters, and a livewire member of the centre. 

The iconic figure of Grand Master Mohammad Ashraf Tai, a legend in his own lifetime, also graced the occasion with his family. 

In his brief address on the occasion, he commended Mukhtar Ahmed for helping in the revival of organizing social events at the Tai’s Karate Centre which goes a long way in further boosting martial arts in the country. 

He also recognized Qamar Siddiq, the Chief Instructor of the centre, who is also an international black belt 6th Dan, and Jamil Ahmed, the Deputy Chief Instructor, for their services to the centre.

Mukhtar Ahmed, the host of the evening, lavished Grand Master Ashraf Tai with enormous praise for having introduced Bando, the Burmese style of martial arts, in Pakistan many decades ago. 

“Sir, your awesome performances against the top martial artists of the world and your passion for spreading the game are legendary. You have earned fame and recognition which was unprecedented in karate,” he complimented the Grand Master. 

Grand Master Ashraf Tai indeed has been synonymous with karate for more than four and a half decades now. He has not only excelled himself but more significantly he has spread the flame with his continued coaching to the trainees at the Tai’s Karate Centre. 

He has been particularly eulogized for his untiring efforts in training thousands of young boys and girls over the years many of whom are now themselves engaged in teaching the game to new students. 

Quite remarkably the Grand Master remains as passionate about the sport of karate as he was at the time of setting up his centre in 1971. He has lost none of his intensity and even these days he teaches his trainees with the same level of dedication and commitment as decades ago.

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June 7, 2016

KG sports officials hurt media, Omar CC win opener


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The unprofessional attitude of the sports department of Karachi Gymkhana created problems in disseminating details of the 31st Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2016, being played for the Omar Associates Trophy, which got underway on June 7. 

It had been the practice for the last many years to make the details available to the media, through electronic or digital means, as soon as the game was over much before Iftar time.

But that wasn’t the case this time round and it took the organizers nearly a couple of hours to transmit scorecard of the opening match. It was also surprising to find that neither the umpires nor the official scorer, who did the duties, had a copy of the match scoreboard. 

In the interim period, efforts were made to contact the Sports Manager of the Karachi Gymkhana but he remained inaccessible with his cell phone being continuously powered off just as it was on the evening when the draws of the tournament were taken out, resulting in inconvenience to the covering journalists. 

One of the reasons of the inaccessibility of the sports department officials was stated to be the location of their office which is housed in the basement of the club. It’s a food of thought for the club management to look into and find a solution. 

Meanwhile left-arm spinner Fawad Khan and wicketkeeper-opener Usman Khan powered Omar Cricket Club to a crucial six-wicket victory over Medicam XI in the opening match of the Omar Associates Trophy at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground on the opening day. 

Medicam XI, whose skipper Khalid Latif opted to bat after calling correctly, was bowled out for 156 on the final ball of their innings. Looking set for an imposing total after the cameo from Tasawwar Abbas (44 off 19 balls), they lost their last six wickets for only 27 runs with Fawad Khan (3-17) doing the damage. 

The 69-run opening partnership in eight overs between Usman Khan (48 off 35 balls) and Noman Anwar (31 off 24 balls) put Omar CC in a commanding position and the momentum was sustained by Mohammad Waqas and Akbar-ur-Rahman who scored 24 each. 

The clinical batting performance kept Omar CC ahead of the clock and they duly reached the target in the final over with six wickets in hand. Fawad Khan was adjudged Man of the Match for this three-wicket haul.

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KHA astroturf's foundation stone laid


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sindh Chief Secretary, Mohammad Siddiq Memon, along with the Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, Jawaid Anwar, unveiled the foundation stone of the sports complex project of the Karachi Hockey Association (KHA), located just opposite the SSUET campus. 

The complex will have a hockey ground with astroturf besides a swimming pool and a multi-purpose hall as suggested by Chancellor Jawaid Anwar and approved by the Chief Secretary. 

Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, CS Siddiq Memon observed that upon the directive of the Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the allocation for sports promotion in Sindh has been increased in the budget from Rs one to two billion.

He pointed out that the Sindh Government, besides laying astroturfs, was carrying out construction of sports complexes throughout the province and at present 38 sports-related schemes were under implementation with KHA’s Sports Complex opposite SSUET a part of the same. 

He informed that the schemes have been completed in Sukkur, Larkana and Mirpurkhas where astroturfs was laid. On the special directive of the Chief Minister 54 more projects were being initiated and funds allocated thereof in the budget 2016, he informed adding that objective was to make all out efforts to provide sports facilities to the youth of Sindh. 

He declared that Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) will be given a grant of Rs 30 lacs this year. Addressing the ceremony, the SSUET Chancellor, Jawaid Anwar thanked the Chief Secretary with whose efforts development of the hockey ground had started and it was a welcome initiative that an astroturf will be laid there.

He underlined the necessity of having a swimming pool and a multi-purpose hall in this under construction complex and pointed out that there are a large number of universities, colleges and schools around this ground whose students would be able to benefit from the facilities of this project. 

He congratulated the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and particularly the Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) for making outstanding efforts for the promotion of hockey. 

He announced that after the astroturf was laid there, the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology will organize an inaugural match between the SSUET’s hockey players, Olympians and Internationals.

He declared that the university will first hold an All Karachi Hockey Tournament on this ground and will provide a good number of students to benefit from this ground. 

He extended all out cooperation of the university towards the promotion of hockey. 

Earlier the General Secretary, KHA, Farooq Khan, thanked the Chief Secretary Siddiq Memon, Sports Secretary, Mohammed Rashid, and Chief Engineer, Aslam Maher, for their contribution in the development of sports complex and laying of astroturf which would provide an opportunity for the youngsters to play hockey . 

The Senior Vice-President, KHA, Aijazuddin, described the project of sports complex and astroturf as a gift from Sindh Government and the youth should take maximum advantage of the same so that new talent could emerge. 

The ceremony was largely attended, among others, by, Anwar Ali, Advisor to Vice-Chancellor, Registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali, besides Olympians Saleem Sherwani, Qamar Ibrahim, Sameer Hussain and Internationals Jan Mohammed, Mohammed Ali and Mubbashir Mkhtar who is also the Director Sports of the SSUET.

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June 5, 2016

Nadeem Omar inaugurates KG Festival, stresses on fair play


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Nadeem Omar, the Managing Director of Omar Associates and the owner of Quetta Gladiators, has stressed on fair play and positive attitude as he formally inaugurated the 31st edition of the Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival Cricket Tournament 2016 for the Omar Associates Trophy on June 4.

With Test wicketkeeper-batsman Saleem Yousuf standing behind him, he dead-batted a friendly half-volley in the corporate settings of the banquet hall which, on a cricket ground, he would have deposited it somewhere into the stands! 

In his brief remarks on the occasion, Nadeem Omar, whose company is sponsoring the event for the fifth year running, hoped that other corporations and institutions will also come forward for patronizing sports. 

“Sadly the federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year (2016-17), presented just the other day, doesn’t have adequate allocation for sports. Now the onus is on the private sector to promote sports in the right manner,” he reckoned. 

“The Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival is the oldest tournament in which the talented cricketers from all over the country get an opportunity to showcase their talents. We are happy to be associated with it,” he added. 

Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, the promoters of Omar Cricket Club and Omar Colts, have also been managing veterans and women’s teams besides having its regular team which plays national-level tournaments.

Meanwhile the prize money of the Omar Associates Trophy 2016, due to start at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground on the first day of Ramazan, has been enhanced. 

The decision in this regard was taken by the President of the Karachi Gymkhana, Fawad Salim Malik, during the media briefing as he announced that the winners will now be getting Rs seven lacs instead of Rupees six lacs and the runners-up will be collecting Rs three lacs fifty thousand instead of Rupees three lacs. 

The total prize money of the four-week event, whose final will be played on 28th of Ramazan, will be Rupees 13 lacs and eighty thousand, which is the highest in the 30-year-old history of the tournament. 

In his welcome address, Fawad Malik described the Karachi Gymkhana as the premier sports and social club east of the Suez Canal, which took pride in its legacy and heritage. He made a particular mention of its cricket ground, having hosted a few of Pakistan’s famous matches. 

Altaf Hussain Agha, a former President of the Karachi Gymkhana and also the Director of the Tournament Committee, spoke about the plans to install floodlights at their cricket ground later this year. 

Riazuddin, an international umpire of repute and member of the technical committee, disclosed that all the T20 rules and regulations of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), including Duckworth-Lewis method for shortened matches, will be applied during the tournament. 

As in the past, tournament will be contested by a total of 16 teams, having been divided equally in four groups for the preliminary rounds. This includes five new teams, Anees Hussain Cricket Club, Dawood Sports, Sojhula Cricket Club (Dera Ghazi Khan), Atiq Estate and Shahmil Associates, who will be making their debut in the competition. 

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout phase, starting with quarter-finals. For the preliminary rounds, Omar CC has been drawn in the Group A alongwith Medicam, Mohammad Hussain CC and K-Electric while the Group B comprises of Karachi Gymkhana Whites, Sojhula CC, Atiq Estate and Eaton CC. 

The Group C contains Omar Colts, Heroes CC, Shahmil Associates and Anis Hussain CC while the Group D will be featuring Karachi Gymkhana Blues, Dubai Islamic Bank, Dawood Sports and Tapal CC.

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