April 17, 2024

Hub Rally Cross explodes into action on April 28


By Ehsan Qureshi

(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The 11th edition of the Hub Rally will get underway at Gadani on April 28 with the top racers of the country to be in action, the organizers announced on April 16. 

The annual event was originally scheduled to be held on April 21 but it was put forward for a week due to the inclement weather forecast in the province of Balochistan where the action will be taking place. It is all set for the racers to showcase their skills once more with larger incentives awaiting the outstanding performers.
Addressing a joint news conference, Chief Organizer, Shujaat Sherwani, along with officials of Pakistan Motorsports and Sindh Motor Sports, informed that the country's leading race drivers will be seen in action in thrilling and entertaining racing contest in eight different categories. 

He revealed that women category has been added to the event, which offers an enhanced purse of Rs five million whose breakup would be notified later. 

The major attraction in race will be country's premier and iconic drivers Nadir Magsi, Sahibzada Sultan Muhammad Ali, Ronnie Patel, Mir Jafar Magsi, Holliston Rally winner Zain Chaudhry with host of aspirant rising young guns from across the country. 

Rehan Qureshi, Technical Director of Hub Rally, Nadeem Khan, Vice President Sindh Motor Sport, former Hub Rally champion, Ronnie Patel, while unveiling the details of Hub Rally paid rich tributes to Shujaat Sherwani and Toyota Highway Motors for their immense contribution in staging, promoting and developing the sport of racing in Pakistan. 

Ronnie Patel, the senior most driver of Pakistan racing circuit, recalled that Hub Rally was just a family event at the outset. But, thanks mainly to the gigantic efforts of Shujaat Sherwani, it has now grown into a popular national event. 

He recalled that in the earlier years it was held at a 19-km track in Nooriabad with 15 participants. But it is now being staged in Gadani on 51-km track which is expected to attract 50-60 participants in eight prepared and other categories. 

Shujaat Sherwani complimented Indus Motor Company, the manufacturers of the famed Toyota cars, for their continuous support in staging the event and praised other sponsors and supporters of Hub Rally.

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March 28, 2024

USA hosts ICC Cricket World Cup: A historic milestone


By Affan Qureshi

(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2024, being hosted by the United States of America (USA) marks a significant moment in the sport's global expansion. As the cricket enthusiasts around the world eagerly anticipate this historic event, USA stands poised to showcase its capabilities as a burgeoning cricketing nation. With state-of-the-art facilities and a diverse fan base, the upcoming World Cup promises to deliver a unique and unforgettable experience for players and spectators alike. 

The highly anticipated clash between traditional rivals, India and Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, is scheduled to be held in New York. It will mark a significant milestone in the history of the sport. This showdown, occurring amidst the backdrop of the popular 9th edition of the tournament spanning from June 2 to 29 across USA and West Indies, has captured the attention of cricket fans worldwide. 

The rivalry between India and Pakistan in the T20 World Cup has always been one of the most sought-after episodes, with India clinching the inaugural title in South Africa in 2007 under the leadership of MS Dhoni, while Pakistan, led by Younis Khan, secured their maiden crown at Lord's, London, in 2009 by defeating Sri Lanka. 

Against the backdrop of iconic American cities, teams from cricketing powerhouses and emerging nations will compete for cricket's ultimate prize. USA's debut as a host nation not only signifies the sport's growing popularity beyond traditional strongholds but also represents a pivotal step in the ICC's mission to promote cricket's reach worldwide. As the cricketing community converges in USA for this momentous occasion, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2024 is poised to leave an indelible mark on the global sporting landscape.

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January 20, 2024

Aqeel Memon lived and died peacefully


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Aqeel Memon, the energetic wicketkeeper-batsman of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), may have played just a handful of first-class matches in a long career but he remained extremely popular in the cricket circles due to his gentle mannerism and apolitical nature. Sadly, the gentleman-cricketer is no more. 

He had gone to sleep at his usual hours, even though it was a weekend, but couldn’t wake up the following morning on January 15. A cardiac patient, having suffered a couple of massive heart-attacks earlier, there were hardly any symptoms lately but, as a few of his close friends had realized, he was living on borrowed time. He was 63. 

My last meeting with him had taken place barely a few weeks ago. In fact, he had reconfirmed my cell number as he planned to organize a meetup of cricket friends in the presence of one of his former colleagues at PIA Sports department, Faiz-ul-Hasan, who was coming from USA. 

Aqeel stayed very close to Aziz Memon, the famed entrepreneur and social figure, who’s his cousin. He used to visit the Kings Group head office in Clifton, Karachi, regularly and it was always pleasure to talk to him on matters relating to cricket, which was very dear to his heart. 

Talking about heart, this particular organ of the body was his nemesis as well as of his entire family. His father had perished at the age of 48 due to heart failure while his elder brother breathed his last at the age of 52, also because of cardiac arrest. Despite this family history, Aqeel survived little longer probably due to his athleticism. 

Aziz Memon recalled the moments in the late 1970s when he had introduced Aqeel to the PIA officials who were conducting trials for selecting their Colts outfit, a brainchild of the legendary commentator and writer, Omer Kureishi, who worked there as Director. The PIA selectors were impressed with Aqeel’s skillset behind the stumps and he was chosen in the squad, alongwith Anil Dalpat.

“Aqeel had passion for cricket since childhood and after coming to know about the trials for PIA Colts team he sought my assistance and guidance. The great Omer Kureishi had confided to me that this lad indeed had the talent which itself was quite a compliment in my estimation,” Aziz Memon shared in a brief chat with PNFS.

Another labour of love of Aqeel was the formation of Tapal Cricket Club, which he founded in collaboration with a few like-minded of his like Amin Merchrant, who was later elected at Secretary of the Karachi Club more than one time. Tapal CC, whose primary focus was grooming talented youngsters, has remained one of the leading cricket clubs of Karachi for quite a few decades. 

A large number of Aqeel’s colleagues and contemporaries, including Shoaib Mohammad, Faisal Iqbal and Sajid Khan, have condoled his death on various social media platforms. He has been hailed as a gem of a person who was helpful and trustworthy all along. 

The compliments are so richly deserved because he lived a simple life and was never found engaged in any kind of politicking on or off the field, a rare attribute when confronted by challenges of all kinds. He didn’t believe in harming anyone and neither did he like to become a party to intrigues.

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