February 24, 2017

Dr Minhaj Qidwai elected new KBA President


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Dr Minhaj Qidwai and Khalid Mohiuddin have been elected unopposed as the President and the Secretary respectively of the Karachi Bridge Associates (KBA) for a three-year term starting from 2017.

According to the results declared by the KBA at the Aslam Bridge Hall, housed at the National Stadium, Karachi, all the nine candidates having submitted their nominations were elected unopposed. 

The Founder President of the KBA, Ahsan Rizvi, having relocated abroad, didn’t contest the elections while Azwer-ul-Haque, a veteran bridge player and administrator, was conferred the post of Chairman Emeritus and Rehana Saigol, a former President of the Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF), has been inducted as an Advisor of the KBA. 

Besides Dr Minhaj Qidwai (President and Director), and Khalid Mohiuddin, (Secretary), Mubashir Puri (Director), Tehseen Ayub (Director), Syed Ameer Hassan (Communication Manager), Mohammad Rafiq (Facility Manager), Shaikh Abdul Muqeet (Business Development Manager), Shahab Khan (Media and Publicity Manager) and Wajahat Suri (Training Manager) are the other elected office-bearers of the KBA for the period 2017-2019. 

“Serving our members, working closely with like-minded organizations and promotion of bridge among youth are our top most priorities. The new KBA management looks forward to work as a team with all the bridge fraternity to promote bridge in Pakistan and make Pakistan shine on the global bridge map,” Dr Minhaj Qidwai remarked. 

“We would like to welcome our member for pairs event every Friday from 6 pm to 9 pm and team event every Sunday from 3 pm to 9 pm at the Aslam Bridge Hall. For playing on Tuesdays the members may have to speak to one of our team members to know the venues holding the event which include Karachi Gymkhana, Karachi Club, Defence Club or Golf Club or elsewhere,” he announced. 

“All who desire to learn bridge are encouraged to contact the KBA management for lessons and training sessions. We are open to suggestions on how to promote bridge particularly among the young Pakistanis to excel in this mind sport,” he added.

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February 15, 2017

Younis Khan could become interim Pakistan Test captain


By Naeem-ul-Haq

With Misbah-ul-Haq uncertain about his future as the Pakistan Test captain, following a dismal run soon after claiming the number one slot in the world last year, there are strong enough indications of change of guard down the road. 

Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has been leading the national team in the shortest format of the game (Twenty20 Internationals), has recently also been appointed the skipper for the One-day Internationals, replacing the under-fire Azhar Ali, who prudently chose to resign instead of waiting to be axed. 

With Sarfaraz having shown the aggression as well as the enterprise when captaining the side in the opportunities having come his way so far in the limited overs matches, he remains untested for the longest format of the game.

There are many people who consider him as the natural choice to lead the national team at the Test level whenever Misbah’s tenure is over. Yet there are a few heads who desire Sarfaraz not to be fast-tracked into the role which could jeopardize his own future as well as that of the national team. 

I also reckon that it would be wiser to let Sarfaraz do an apprenticeship before being thrust into the most challenging role of his career. 

If he fails to deliver as a Test captain at this stage this could hurt him in the limited overs formats as well and Pakistan could be struggling to find another capable leader. 

While Misbah’s days, by his own admission, seem numbered in the Test arena, the selectors can turn towards Younis Khan, the greatest-ever batsman produced by Pakistan, to lead the Test team in the period when Sarfaraz could be groomed as his successor. 

Younis as captain and Sarfaraz as vice-captain could become win-win situation for Pakistan in Tests. Both of them are at the peak of their careers and together they can work wonders for the country.

Younis has a proven record both as a batsman as well as a captain. His records are far too impressive to ignore by any stretch of imagination. 

In fact he has been very harshly treated on most occasions despite his accomplishments. It’s never too late and too little to make amends. He is only 39 at the moment. He is among the fittest guys on the park. 

He still has a lot to offer to Pakistan cricket, if allowed to do it. He has the capacity to turn it around. 

With Misbah’s retirement a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ the powers that be have a great option in Younis. Reappointing him as the Test skipper at this point of time will have multiple benefits. 

While the functionaries of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have often been accused of hitting headlines for the wrong reasons, here’s an opening for them to undo some of the sins of the past. 

They will be hailed as the saviours of Pakistan cricket if they decide to bring in Younis as the Test captain and also give him an extended run to let him fire on all cylinders. He still has the energy and the burning desire to make things happen.

He may not be the show boy in the cricket field but he is certainly the most strong-willed person one could think of. He has proved his mettle every single time he has gone on to bat.

He has remained an outstanding fielder all along, having plucked a record number of catches. Wherever standing, he's a source of inspiration for the whole team.

Younis has been subjected to the toughest of pressures at all times. The most brutal treatment was meted out to him by the regime of Ijaz Butt which kept him out of the team for a year and and a half.

He not only has had to bring all his skills into play to negotiate and dominate the most fearsome bowling attacks of the world but he also had to deliver with a sword hanging around him all along. 

It’s indeed shameful that a batsman of his caliber, who has phenomenal Test record against all opponents, has been put under trial more often than not. 

Instead of getting the due recognition from his own country’s administrators he has had to engage in uncalled for battles. Just look at his numbers. He is only 23 runs away from becoming the first Pakistani batsman to reach the milestone of 10,000 Test runs. 

He has already scored 34 Test centuries, which is Pakistan’s highest. He can be proud of his average of 53.06 after 116 Tests in 17 years. What else could have been asked from this man? 

He has all the major Test records for Pakistan under his belt. He has delivered all over the world, having scored heaps of runs in every continent. He has withstood the fastest bowlers of the world fearlessly. He has been equally proficient in taming the best spinners in the planet. 

Yet Younis, a gentleman by nature, has never been accorded the respect he deserved in Pakistan. There has been politicking and all sorts of nuisance to curtail his advancement. Give credit to this man to have weathered the storm with a smile on his face, most of the time. 

Obviously he’s a human being and sometimes he has reacted bitterly to the senseless campaign to malign him. He has always believed in letting his bat to do the talking and he has been successful in silencing his critics by scoring heavily. 

He was the man who brought glories for the country as Pakistan had won the ICC World Twenty20 Championship in 2009 under his captaincy in England. It’s the only time Pakistan has got hold of this crown. 

Despite bringing home the trophy, Younis faced more criticism at home rather than praise which was mind-boggling and unfortunate. The hero was being treated as a villain for reasons that defied logic. 

He has been at the receiving end in the battles between the various groups surrounding the PCB and he has only survived due to the weight of runs he scored. 

Needless to say, Younis has been blessed with nerves of steel. He can handle the bowlers of all kinds and he can also absorb the pressures from different corners. It’s rare to find a man possessing so much mental toughness as him. 

If better sense prevails and the PCB is prepared to look beyond its club, Younis is ready for another stint as the Pakistan captain. With Sarfaraz waiting in the wings, and sharing responsibilities as the vice-captain, Pakistan could become a force to reckon with in Tests once more.

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February 11, 2017

SSUET progressing in sports arena


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, had a very busy sports month in January with the start of new year 2017 with its teams participating in different sports events in a big way.

According to the SSUET Director Sports, Mubbashir Mukhtar, the their outfits participated in cricket, football and table tennis competitions during the month of January, having emerged successful as the champion in the Inter-University Cricket Tournament organized by Bahria University. 

SSUET had clinched the trophy by dethroning Indus University in the final. 

The SSUET had another achievement when it, for the first time, organized the HEC Football Tournament (Zone G) in a most successful manner. 

The tournament was participated by as many as 15 universities with the University of Karachi becoming the champion of Zone G alongwith IBA as the second qualifier. Both teams will now take part in the final round to be staged in Peshawar. 

Mubbashir Mukhtar disclosed that a schedule of sports events for February 2017 has already been prepared whereby a five-member team will take part in All Pakistan Judo Championship to be held in Tando Jam on February 3-4.

The university hockey team has making preparations to participate in HEC Hockey Tournament (Zone G) which is scheduled to start in Karachi from February 7. The tournament is expected to be participated by eight universities. 

In February, Director Sports SSUET informed that the university's boxing squad will be in action in the Final round of All Pakistan Boxing Championship which is being organized by SBB University Lyari. 

The final round will start by the end of the month. 

During the month, Pakistan Marine Academy (PMA) is organizing a Sports Gala from February 16 in which SSUET will participate in cricket, football, hockey, volleyball, badminton, athletics and tug of war events. 

The SSUET Director Sports stated that the preparations for participation in these events have started in a big way. 

He remarked that the SSUET could not have gone this far in its sports activities without the active support of its Chancellor Jawaid Anwar, Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawed H. Rizvi and Registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali who themselves are passionate about sports and desire to see the institution on the top in the sporting arena.

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