May 26, 2017

Pakistan’s forgotten sports heroes honoured


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan’s forgotten national sports heroes in boxing, cycling and football who brought glories to the country in Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and other international competitions were honoured at a grand function organised by Sherwani Sports Trust on May 25.

Those who to be honoured on the occasion included Olympic boxer and Asian and CW Games medal winner Meherullah Lassi, South Asian Boxing Games Champion Rasheed Qambrani. 

Financial assistance was also extended to to distressed sportsmen of yesteryears and the beneficiaries included boxer Azeem Jan, cyclist Sher Haider, footballers Jan Mohammad Baloch, Mohammad Sharif and Jafar Alam and former Olympic referee/judge Ali Akbar Shah. 

They were also awarded shields and mementos as a token of acknowledgement of their heroic feats Sherwani Motors set a noble example by distributing cash awards worth Rs 200, 000 among the needy sportsmen. 

In an emotional discourse, the 2002 Busan Asian Games gold medalist Meherullah Lassi complimented and lauded Sherwani Trust for coming forward and supporting and assisting those neglected sportsmen mostly from Lyari area. 

“They may be from the past but continue to be counted as national heroes and deserve respect and support from the nation,” he observed. 

He hoped that more organizations will feel their responsibilities towards the neglected heroes in the field of sports and follow this noble gesture demonstrated by Sherwani Sports Trust and assist these poor, needy and jobless sportsmen.

“The basic purpose of holding this program was to support and assist those needy sportsmen, who were neglected despite their achievements for Pakistan,” Shujaat Sherwani, the chairman of the trust, stated. 

“We are really honoured with the presence of galaxy of international sportsmen with us. It’s the duty of the society to support these great men, who served the country bringing honor and dignity in international sports arena. It is always a great sight and feeling when Pakistan flag is raised and national anthem is played at the international stage,” he said in an emotional tone. 

Shujaat Sherwani also announced scholarships to highly talented boys and girls, specially from Lyari who may show bright prospects for the country in coming months. 

Describing the assistance extended as meager token assistance for financially distressed sportsmen, Shujaat said our dream is that Pakistan should regain its lost glory in hockey and other sports in Asian Games and Olympics. 

Shujaat Sherwani pointed out that in order to achieve the cherished objective he was also running a free cricket academy and hockey club and staged Motorsports Really in Hub and Nooriabad in recent months. 

Speaking on the occasion Justice (Rtd) Zafar Sherwani, who was the guest of honour, expressed his delighted to be standing among the heroes of the country, reckoning that sports can play a vital role in the development of youth of the nation. 

Justice Zafar expressed dismay that Pakistan once a great sporting nation of the continent failed to win a single medal in Muslim Solidarity Games held in Baku where small host nation Azerbaijan emerged on the top. 

On the occasion Meherullah and Rasheed Qambrani also planted trees as part of the ongoing Go Green Karachi slogan.

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May 22, 2017

KG Ramazan Festival’s prizemoney enhanced


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The prize money of the 32nd edition of the Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2017 for the Omar Associates Trophy, due to start here at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground on the first day of Ramazan, has been enhanced substantially. 

According to the details unveiled by the Tournament Director, Jam Nafees Ali, during the media briefing here at the Karachi Gymkhana on May 22, the categories for cash awards has been increased and the total prize money of the four-week event, whose final will be played on 28th of Ramazan, will be Rupees 14 lacs and 63 thousand, which is the highest in the 31-year-old history of the tournament. 

The champions will be getting Rs seven lacs and the runners-up will be collecting Rs three lacs fifty thousand with the losing semifinalists will be receiving Rs 50,000 each. The new categories of awards being introduced are for the most boundaries, most catches and most wickets in every match which will be in addition to Man of the Match awards. 

The tournament is being sponsored by Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd, the promoters of Quetta Gladiators, Omar Cricket Club and Omar Colts, who have also been managing veterans and women’s teams besides having its regular team which plays national-level tournaments, for the fourth year running.

In his welcome address, the Karachi Gymkhana President, Fawad Salim Malik, described the club as the premier sports and social club of the country, having been established more than 125 years ago. To a question, he disclosed that the Gymkhana management was working the plans to install floodlights at their cricket ground later this year. 

Speaking on the occasion, Nadeem Omar, Managing Director, Omar Associates, welcomed the participation of the co-sponsors in the tournament hoped that other corporations and institutions will also come forward for patronizing sports. 

“The Karachi Gymkhana Ramazan Festival has remained a most sought after tournament in which many future greats were discovered. The promising cricketers from all over the country get an opportunity to showcase their talents and those performing well get headstart to their career,” he added. 

Riazuddin, an international umpire 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 quite a new teams like Dubai Hawks XI, Acme Technologies, Mangus Sports, New Al Habib Cricket Club, Friends Cricket Club (Kandhkot) and Opera Cricket Club, 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 on the 21st day of Ramazan. Omar CC has been drawn in the Group A alongwith Dubail Hawks XI, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Advance Telecom while the Group B comprises of Karachi Gymkhana Whites, Dollar East, Mohammad Hussain Cricket Club and Acme Technologies. 

The Group C contains Eaton CC, Magnus Sports, Sojhla Cricket Academy (Dera Ghazi Khan) and New Al Habib CC while the Group D will be Tapal CC, Heroes CC (Quetta), Friends CC (Kandhkot) and Opera CC.

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May 16, 2017

Jalaluddin, Qadir Qureshi hail Toyota Highway Motors’ Go Green Mission


By Ehsan Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Prominent members of cricketing community have come out to make Karachi green and joined hands with Toyota Highway Motors in planting trees in a bid to check growing environmental pollution to some extent.

Noted cricketers like Pakistan's most successful outgoing captain Misbah-ul-Haq, spin magician of his time, Iqbal Qasim, former Test opener, Sadiq Mohammed, former Test all-rounder Ejaz Faqih, hockey Olympian and 1984 Los Angeles gold medalist, Hasan Sardar, and ex-Junior and a member of 1979 Junior World Cup winning team in France Jan Mohammed, are among the figures who have planted trees to go all out with the slogan one tree each to make Karachi green. 

The latest in series of the prominent sportsmen was Jalaluddin, the man who who had the distinction of accomplishing the first hat-trick in One-Day International against Australia at Niaz Stadiim Hyderabad 32 years ago. 

The former Test fast bowler and now a highly quailed coach was the guest of honour to plant a tree on May 13. Among other dignitaries to grace the occasion was the veteran journalist Abdul Qadir Qureshi, the Chief Editor of Jumbo Karachi Guide, who had been promoting Go Green cause through his reporting since he was a junior reporter.

Lack of greenery in this part of the country has been portrayed as a big problem as the governments of today and yesterday showed least interest in developing greenery in the wake of all time high environmental pollution, more specially in Karachi, the world's seventh populous city which is the business hub of the country but far behind in greenery concept. 

While other organizations have had limited success to meet national expectations in this regard, Toyota Highway Motors, just a few kilometers from Sohrab Goth (Zero Point) on Super Highway, has come out with the daunting task to share the mission to make Karachi Green and to slightly remove the stigma on this once city of lights. 

Having set a target of planting 5,000 trees as initial count for their mission, the company’s CEO Shujaat Sherwani announced that they provide one plant free of cost to each of their car buyer.

As part of the mission they introduced a unique concept of inviting Pakistan's sports legends to promote the slogan of Green Karachi. 

This slogan started with Pakistan's most successful test captain Misbah-ul-Huq who was visibly moved by the idea and highly appreciative of the same while planting a tree along Super Highway, followed by other legends. 

With carrying out the mission of this Green Slogan, Shujaat Sherwani extended warm reception to the eminent visitors, also awarding them attractive shields besides paying them tributes for their services and bringing fame and name to Pakistan. 

"It has always been my passion to honour sporting legends and be a humble promoter of Go Green and this has doubled my enthusiasm,” he observed in a brief speech on the occasion. Maintaing their tradition officials of the Toyota Highway Motors led by its CEO Shujaat Sherwani, General Manager Sales and Marketing, Shad Ali Khan, Ahsan Sherwani, Manager Sales, Irfan Zaidi, gave a standing ovation to both Jalaluddin and Abdul Qadir Qureshi. 

Giving his reaction, Jalaluddin said initially he was reluctant to come for a visit here because of lack of information, but now he was highly impressed with the missionary zeal being exhibited by Shujaat and his team for a noble cause besides extending a true respect to country's legendary figures.

"Go Green is a great concept and our country badly needs to overcome the serious problem of environmental changes which is risking the lives of millions of Karachiites. I am highly impressed to see lots of trees having been planted already,” he complimented. 

He described it a great mission and said that the one-car-one-tree was certainly a unique and novel idea to promote the cause. 

He said that he felt himself proud for planting a tree here and he will come again to see his plant having grown as a big tree consuming pollution to some extent. 

Shujaat Shewani appreciated the services rendered by Abdul Qadir Qureshi in the domain of journalism through his positive reporting skills and regretted that presently positivity was on the way to extinction with negativity having taken strong roots. 

The veteran journalist, in his speech, enlightened the gathering by sharing his experiences, particularly those related to coverage of various Presidents and Prime Ministers during their visits abroad. 

On the occasion, Shujaat Sherwani presented a Max Dirt Track official shirt to Jalaluddin which is designed to promote newly developed world class track in Hub on Sindh-Balochistan borders. He recalled that Captain of 2009 World T20 winning team Younis Khan also attended the Max Dirt Rally and took a round of track and complimented the organizers for promoting this popular sport.

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May 1, 2017

Archery comes alive with Ziauddin Valika Memorial Tournament


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The Sindh Archery Association (SAA) celebrated its revival by holding the inaugural Ziauddin Valika Memorial Archery Tournament with fanfare at the historic Al-Nadi-al-Burhani Sports Complex, situated at Old Queens Road in Karachi, on May 1.

There were a couple of competitions organized by the SAA on the May Day. The duo of Tahir Najamuddin Mandviwala and Kanwal Ansar emerged the champions in the mixed doubles event while 

Tahir Najamuddin Mandviwala also won the individual spitfire contest. 

Rasheeda Ziauddin Valika was the chief guest in the prize distribution ceremony held soon after the conclusion of the twin events. She presented cash awards and trophies to the outstanding performers. 

Tahir Mandviwala and Kanwal Ansar clinched the mixed doubles event by outshining Murtaza Hussain and Zara Khan in the final. The third position was clinched by Khizar Shaikh and Kinza Baloch. 

Danyal Valika ended as the runner-up, finishing just behind the eventual champion, Tahir Mandviwala, in the individual spitfire competition in which Khizar Shaikh came third. 

The SAA, inspired by its new chief patron, Zain Valika, braved the dust and the heat of an oppressive summer day to organize the day-long tournament with renewed enthusiasm, indicating that it’s a new beginning for the sport of archery in the province. 

 As the contestants continued to display their expertise by hitting a target fixed on 25-metre distance, on its sidelines it was the SAA chief patron who entertained the guests besides having chats with the media corps. 

“We all know that strong character leads to confidence in any arena. Archery is considered an outlet with measurable improvement which helps to increase self-reliance, self-assurance, self-worth, and self-respect. Individuals with strong character and confidence create a better community. The SAA desires to play its role in helping to build healthy humans by engaging the youngsters in archery,” Zain Valika explained.

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