Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Karachi Chamber, SSUET reiterate close coordination

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) has reiterated its close coordination with the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, for research and development in the industrial field.

An assurance in this regard came from the newly elected KCCI President, Mohammed Haroon Agar, in a meeting with the SSIET Registrar, Shah Mahmood Hussain Syed, who called on him at KCCI Head Office on October 2.

Haroon Agar said that the Chamber was already coordinating with the SSUET and working in close proximity with the University to promote research and development (R&D) for the benefit of the industrial sector.

He said that he along with the members of the Managing Committee will soon visit the SSUET to further strengthen the already existing working relationship between the two institutions.

On the occasion Registrar Shah Mahmood informed that upon the advice of KCCI's proposal the SSUET carried out a survey of industrial sector to determine the various industries keeping their immediate requirement.

He pointed out that the SSUET was producing over a hundred projects, mostly relating to industrial sector and if put to application, these could provide beneficial for the industrial sector. In this regard the role of KCCI will prove highly beneficial.

The newly elected Senior Vice-President, Shamim A. Firpo, and Member Managing Committee, Asif Bega, were also present in the meeting.

Asif Bega stressed the need for innovative projects for textile sector believing that the University can help this sector in a big way.

The KICCI President described the SSUET as a valuable asset in the field of engineering and he along with his Managing Committee looked forward to visiting the University in order to discuss further proposals for enhanced coordination.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gold medal for Shoaib Siddiqui, Rehana Saif

KARACHI: Sindh Secretary Sports Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui and Sports promoter Rehana Saif were awarded gold medals for rendering services to sports during the year 2010 at ceremony held City Sports Complex here on Monday night.
Awards were distributed form the forum of Pakistan Sports Welfare Association to sports person for their role in the promotion and development of sports in the province.
Speaking at the ceremony Sindh Minister for Women Development Tauqir Fatima Bhutto announced to hold Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women Hockey Championship in March.
Prominent among those, who attended the ceremony included KCCA President and Secretary Syed Sirajul Islam Bokhari and Prof. Ejaz Farooqui, President KHA Gulfraz khan, Director PSB Coaching Centre Zulfiqar Abro and others.
Chief Organizer Ghulam Muhammad Khan gave silent feature of the awards. Awards were also distributed among various organizers for their contribution in sports.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shoaib Siddiqui plans to take bowling from urban to rural Sindh

Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Sindh, who has been the motivating force in making things happens on a fast track as far as the activities of sports at the provincial level are concerned, has vowed to take the sport of bowling, popular sport of the urban areas, to the interior regions of the province.

Shoaib Siddiqui, who had taken over the chief of the sports department of Sindh in October 2008, firmly believes that it’s the fundamental right if every citizen to have access to the sporting facilities.

More significantly he also reckons that the government, besides the corporate sector, has a responsibility to create the sports infrastructure to let the common man engage himself in healthy activities.

The visionary and responsible government officers like him, who believe in meeting the challenge and overcoming the obstacles, are the ones who bring about a change despite the shortcomings in the system. It’s easier said than done.

Shoaib Siddiqui gladdened the hearts of the enthusiasts of the sport of bowling by supporting one of their tournaments recently which was organized by the Sindh Tenpin Bowling Association with the venue being the bustling Thunder Pins housed in Millennium Mall which is one of the favourite destinations for the youth of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar and other adjoining areas.

It was the first ranking bowling event to be staged in Pakistan, made possible by the Sindh Sports Board (SSB). It was a major accomplishment for the organizers who had also made an appearance in the 13th Sindh Games 2010 held in Karachi.

The inaugural Sindh Inter-League Bowling Tournament 2010 was acclaimed as a success story with about 50 bowlers having registered in the masters and amateur categories. The outstanding performers of the landmark three-day were rewarded with cash prizes besides certificates and trophies.

Hanif Mohammad Mirchawala, Director Sports, Government of Sindh, was the chief guest in the presentation ceremony of the tournament having been inaugurated by the departmental chief, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui.

“I suggest that the Sindh Sport Board should provide us with the space to open up a bowling arena in terms of private-public partnership. We are trying our level best to make this sports reachable for every class, a technician who won gold dedal in 13thSindh Games Tenpin Bowling Event 2010 amateur category is the living example,” Romis Ali General Secretary, STBA, observed in his welcome speech.

Top Seed Shabbir Lashkarwala lived up to the billing to become the first Sindh Inter-League champion by scoring an average of 172. He was also the gold medalist in the13th Sindh Games 2010 Tenpin Bowling event.

Rashid Ali, Syed Zubair and Aleem Agha claimed the next three positions in the masters’ category with Mahmood Ahmed claiming the award for the highest score of 236.

Abdullah Tahir emerged the champion in the amateur singles while the next three positions were shared by Shahjahan, Abid Ahmed and Faizan Tariq. Abdullah Tahir got another prize for his being the top scorer with 214.

Sindh Whites, comprising of Khawaja Ahmed, Zubair Ali, Naeem, and Abdullah Tahi, won the team event with Sindh Green, featuring Robert, Shahjahan, Sarim and Mahmood Ahmed, finishing as the runner-up and Sindh Blues, containing Naseem Ahmed Qureshi, Shabbir Lashkerwala, Farhan Riaz and Abid Ahmed, getting third position. (www.skmsports.com)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Karachi Press Club's Summer Sports Festival set to kickoff

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

All is set for the KPC Summer Sports Festival 2010 to kickoff at the Karachi Press Club on June 30 with Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary Sports & Youth Affairs to the Government of Sindh, to inaugurate it in a colorful ceremony.

The festival is being organized by the Sports Committee, with the collaboration of the Indoor Games Committee, at the Karachi Press Club from June 30 to July 24.

As many as five games, snooker, chess, scrabble, badminton and table tennis, will be contested during the festival being supported by the sports department of the Government of Sindh.

The festival, offering cash awards to top performers, will commence with the snooker tournament from June 30 to July 3 to be followed by chess and scrabble (July 5 to 10), badminton (July 12 to 17) and table tennis (July 19 to 24). It will be open to the members of the KPC only and the entries will be closing two days before the start of every tournament.

The Mind Sports Association of Pakistan (MSAP) has volunteered to offer technical assistance for the chess and scrabble tournaments while the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) and the Karachi Table Tennis Association (KTTA) will be providing technical support to the competitions of snooker and table tennis respectively.

The involvement of the respective professional bodies in conducting the various events will add value to the festival besides allowing the Sports Committee to concentrate on administrative matters.

The Karachi Press Club has actually revived the tradition of holding sports tournaments for its members. The senior members of the club like S M Fazal and A Majid Khan have often been heard recalling those sports events of the yesteryears in which the members of the club used to participate very enthusiastically.

Talking about enthusiasm there is greater response already than was being anticipated from the members and the number of entries in the snooker tournament went into double digits within an hour of the announcement appearing on the club’s notice board.

The KPC President, Imtiaz Khan Faran, is thrilled by the response and the build-up for the upcoming event and he didn’t mince words in stating that the club is actually meant for such activities that could provide recreation to the members and their families.

“Yes the club should be a place where the members and their families could come over for spending time nicely. We have been trying to develop more facilities in order to serve the purpose,” he added.

Imtiaz Faran feels that the club should be having a swimming pool besides facilities for other indoor games.

The KPC Secretary, A H Khanzada, is also ecstatic with the buzz around the club created by the sports festival.

“We have provided an opportunity to our members to demonstrate their sporting prowess. By the look of things the word has already spread and there is a talk about it among the members that’s very heartening indeed,” he observed.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sindh Sports & Youth Affairs Department launches 5-month Cricket Coaches course

An extensive five month Cricket Coaches course to train and prepare the coaches from interior Sindh and Karachi was inaugurated at PCB Regional Academy Auditorium here on Monday.
Sindh Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui inaugurated the course which is being attended by 20 participants including four women. Sindh Sports and Youth Affairs Department is conducting the programme under Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Youth Development programme in collaboration with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). PCB Head Youth Development Haroon Rasheed with expert Ali Zia and Shahid Aslam of National Cricket Academy are jointly conducting the course.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yousuf calls it a day in KPC's Meet the Press show

It was around 4.30 pm on March 29 when Mohammad Yousuf, one of the greatest-ever batsmen to be produced by the country, announced his decision to retire from all forms of international cricket.

The Sports Committee of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) had invited the world record-holder for the highest number of Test runs as well as centuries in a calendar year at the Meet the Press Programme upon learning that he was going to make an ‘important’ decision of his career.

Thanks to the media it had become an ‘open secret’ and it was no more going to be a ‘breaking news’ by the time the programme was held that Yousuf would be announcing his retirement. A large number of KPC members, particular those covering cricket, had reached the venue much before the designated time.

The popularity of Yousuf and the significance of the event of the members had also attracted quite a few cricket scribes who are not privileged to be the members of the KPC yet for different reasons.

Yousuf himself arrived at the KPC about 20 minutes before the start of the programme and he had to spend sometime with his media friends in the Ibrahim Jalees Hall before being escorted to the terrace.

The seats were full and everyone was waiting for the moment eagerly when the master batsman was going to make the ‘declaration’ in public. With the members of the electronic media requiring time to get their microphones in order we had to start the programme a few minutes past four.

Being the Secretary of the KPC Sports Committee as well as the host of the programme I did have the option of delivering a long opening speech to pay tribute to the accomplished middle-order batsman and also reflect on the controversies related to him.

But I chose to be precise as I normally prefer to do on all occasions because I know how restless one feels if the speaker goes anywhere close to ‘dragging’ or loses the focus even a bit.

The KPC Secretary, A H Khanzada, talked in detail about the recent failures of the Pakistan cricket team having made the whole country sad and depressed.

The KPC President, Imtiaz Faran, explained the national flavour of the club. He urged Yousuf to change his retirement plans in the larger national interest.

The clock had ticked half pas four when Yousuf, after a brief presentation ceremony, finally came to speak. The cameras became more attentive. The photojournalists started clicking his every move.

The stage was set for Yousuf to explode and play a breezy knock. But he preferred dead batting. He just read out a carefully drafted speech in which he thanked all his former captains and colleagues for the support they had extended to him over the years. Then he announced retirement from international cricket.

Yousuf was reluctant to take the questions from the media but he stood there for a while as it’s a tradition to have an interactive session with the KPC members in Meet the Press programme.

A number of critical questions were hurled at him but he evaded them. He was not prepared to speak his mind. He looked indecisive and unprepared as well for the volley of questions. He, however, registered his appreciation for the KPC.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yousuf expected to announce his retirement on Monday at KPC

Pakistani star batsman Mohammad is Yousuf expected to announce his retirement from international cricket. He will make a formal announcement to retire on Monday at Meet the Press of Sports Committee of Karachi Press Club.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has suspended Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan for an indefinite period because of infighting which impacted on the national team's performance during the series against Australia. Yousuf told local urdu daily that it was not an emotional decision and he consulted his elders, friends and family members.

Yousuf was made captain after Younis Khan quit the captaincy last year. Under his guidance, Pakistan drew Test series against New Zealand before being routed 3-0 by Australia in a Test series and 5-0 in the one-day internationals and one T20 match.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shoaib Siddiqui to Inaugurate First iLEAD Volleyball Tournament on Monday

KARACHI: Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Sindh will be inaugurating iLEAD’s first volleyball tournament on 15 February, 2010.

iLEAD – Inspiring Leadership, Empowerment and Development in Youth is a public- private partnership program between the Youth Affairs Department, Government of Sindh and Habib University Foundation (H.U.F.), with technical support provided by the British Council, Pakistan. Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary of Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Government of Sindh will inaugurate the ceremony.

The volleyball tournament will be held at the Institute for Advancing Careers and Talents, one of iLEAD’s partner institutes. Eight colleges are participating in the tournament: Two pools consisting of four institutes each will contest in the tournament. Volleyball matches begin on February 15, 2010 and will last to February 19, 2010, when the final will be played.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

City of Karachi honours Jan-e-Alam Fazli

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Jan-e-Alam Fazli’s contribution as one of the most prolific bridge players of his time has been recognized by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) by means of dedicating a street after his name.

Tariq Rasheed Khan, President, Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF), broke the good news that Jan-e-Alam, who holds the distinction of being the highest ranked Pakistani player at the international level, has been honoured by the City of Karachi by naming with the street where he lived in his early days after him.

“It’s a matter of great pleasure and pride for all of us. It’s a moment to cherish for every bridge player of the country. We are delighted to have the Jan-e-Alam Fazli Street in Karachi,” Tariq Rasheed remarked.

The sentiments of the bridge players are very clearly reflected in those remarks of the PBF President. It’s not often that the bridge legends of the country have been recognized in much manner at the governmental level.

Jan-e-Alam happens to be the only player in South Asia and Middle East Zone to have been conferred the rank of International Life Master by the World Bridge Federation (WBF).

He was an integral part of the national team in the golden era of the 1980s when Pakistan had reached the final of the Bermuda Bowl World Championship two times within six years. He was nominated for the coveted Presidential Award but the change of guard in 2008 deferred his case.

When contacted the modest and unassuming veteran bridge player explained that the city government has named the road housing his childhood residence in Block A of North Nazimabad as the Jan-e-Alam Fazli Street.

“I feel really honoured and elevated by this gesture of the city government. This is an acknowledgement of my contribution to the cause of sports. I thank the concerned officials for having taken up this initiative. I am sure the whole fraternity of sports will welcome this move,” Jan-e-Alam observed.

Jan-e-Alam very rightly reckoned that the athletes do get inspired by their recognition like these and they try to payback by performing even better.

He has been acclaimed one of the greatest sportsmen of Pakistan, having contributed significantly for putting on the bridge map of the world. He was one of the illustrious contemporaries of the great Zia Mahmood, a World Bridge Federation (WBF) and American Contract Bridge League (ABCL) Grand Life Master.

The City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has made a praiseworthy move by honouring the bridge legend. Now the authorities in the federal capital should also expedite his case for the Presidential award.

The Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF) should also try to pursue his case in Islamabad because he thoroughly deserves the award. It would be another major boost for the development of the mind sport in the country should he get it.

One hopes that the red tape or the political considerations would be overcome by the saner elements in the Federal Ministry of Sports who must be aware of Jan-e-Alam’s massive contribution to the sport of bridge.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sindh Government activates sports relief fund

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The Sindh government has activated the Pakistan Sports Foundation Relief Fund (PSFRF) for the specific purpose of providing financial assistance to the athletes facing financial hardships due to physical disabilities or protracted ailment.

Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary Sports, Government of Sindh, has revealed that besides helping the deserving athletes in need, the Regional Committee of the PSFRF was also taking care of the legal heirs of the deceased ones.

“The seven-member Regional Committee of the PSFRF was formed in November 2008 with a revolving grant of Rs 500,000 at our disposal with the objective of helping the deserving sports-persons of repute and to legal heirs of those stalwarts who have died. We have been providing financial assistance in the form of monthly scholarships as well as lump sum grant-in-aid,” he disclosed.

Shoaib Siddiqui himself is a member of the Regional Committee of the PSFRF that also includes former Test cricketer and present chief selector, Iqbal Qasim, besides, Mir Haider Ali Talpur, Shah Riazuddin and Rahat Ali Shah.
“The families of former Pakistan hockey captain, Munawwar-uz-Zaman and former Test cricketer, Taslim Arif, were provided financial grant of Rs 50,000 each. Similarly a payment of Rs 50,000 was made to the family of cricket coach Khushi Mohammad,” Shoaib Siddiqui disclosed.

“Footballers Mahboob Khan and Turab Ali were paid Rs 20,000 each to take care of their illness. Boxer Mahboob Khan and hockey player Khwaja Wasimuddin were also extended financial support to the tune of Rs 20,000 each while judo player Sajjad Hussain Baloch was paid Rs 15,000,” he added.

“The athletes and coaches having been extended monthly assistance of Rs 3,500 each include Lal Mohammad Baloch, Nazar Mohammad, Mohammad Ali Shah, Mohammad Wasim, Mahboob Khan, Noor-ul-Haq, Zaki Anwar, Shabbir Hussain, Abdul Rauf Qureshi, Abdul Rasheed, Shaikh Hasan Mohammad, Abeera Ali Shaikh, Abdul Ghafoor and Ismail Rosho,” Shoaib Siddiqui said.

It’s indeed quite heartening to note that the government has started taking care of the unpriveleged athletes who certainly deserve the monetary support after having spent their life in the sporting arena.

Numerous sporting greats have had to struggle to make their ends meet because only a few of them had the luxury of jobs and that too during the peak of their career. The majority of them couldn’t save for the rainy day and life has remained tough for them generally.

Sports has become an industry worldwide but the same cannot be said about Pakistan with cricket being the sole exception. Under the circumstances the state does have the responsibility of looking after the athletes.

The amount being disbursed by the Pakistan Sports Foundation Relief Fund (PSFRF) at the moment certainly looks peanuts but it’s a mighty big move in the right direction. As they say it’s never too late to do something good.

The government should allocate more funds to this scheme in order to assist greeater number of athletes. This will go a long way in encouraging more youngsters to take to sports.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Well deserved ICC recognition for Ahmed Mustafa

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Ahmed Mustafa is one of the very few persons to richly deserve the ICC centenary medal awarded upon the recommendation of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). He happens to be one of the winners of the medal to be presented by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to 1000 special volunteers from all over the world in recognition for their contribution to the sport.

Ahmed Mustafa is certainly one of those people having dedicated their lifetime to develop the game at the grassroots and nurture the stars of the future. He’s credited to have produced three Test cricketers, Azam Khan, Faisal Iqbal and Owais Shah, who had not even entered their teens at the time of joining his Cricket Coaching Centre (CCC).

The CCC, his labour of love, has helped many other kids fulfill their ambition of playing first-class cricket. The likes of Ali Hussain Rizvi, Mohammad Masroor, Saad Wasim, Mohammad Javed, Maisam Hasnain and Fahad Iqbal had to be grateful to the training they received at the CCC to build their career.

Ahmed Mustafa himself was an aggressive top-order batsman who was not afraid to attack the bowling in an era when the occupation of crease used to be the name of the game. He was one of the contemporaries of the great Hanif Mohammad, whose batting technique was second to none.

Having played for Karachi and made quite an impression, he narrowly missed getting the Pakistan cap because of a tragic road accident. He was in contention for a slot in the national squad when the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a heavy vehicle that caused serious damage to his legs.

He remained associated with the game all along and created a sensation by founding the first-ever cricket academy of the country by the name of Cricket Coaching Centre (CCC) in July 1987.

What a great service to the game he did by having established the CCC! The boys from all over Karachi rushed in to avail the opportunity. Ahmed Mustafa set tough guidelines for selecting the boys for grooming and training. He didn’t believe in doing it for the purpose of public relations. Neither did he approve the idea of making money from coaching as all the services at the CCC were provided free of cost to the trainees.

The CCC has completed two decades of its existence. In fact it has been there for more than 22 years now. Its silver jubilee is not very far away. Ahmed Mustafa has managed to keep the institution afloat, with the support of his like-minded friends, despite the heaviest of odds.

Although laid low by his deteriorating health during the last couple of years, he has still been working with missionary zeal to contribute his bit in the cricket development by running the CCC with limited resources at his disposal.

Quite a few coaching academies have come into prominence in the recent past but it’s the CCC, founded by Ahmed Mustafa, meriting special mention for having pioneered the idea.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pakistan cricket captains carry Islamic Relief forward

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

As many as four Pakistan cricket captains are proactively involved in supporting the cause of humanity by helping the Islamic Relief (IR) raise substantial funds for the under-privileged and displaced persons in the country.

The quartet of Rashid Latif, Moin Khan, Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi has been instrumental in generating funds for the IR to let them carry out their mission with renewed enthusiasm.

Three of them were in attendance in the IR’s launch of Malakand Rehabilitation Programme held at the Karachi Gymkhana on October 26. Moin Khan was unable to make it because he had to air-dash to Lahore to attend the funeral of Wasim Akram’s wife, Huma, who passed away on October 25.

Fateha was offered for the departed soul before the start of the proceedings and every speaker expressed condolences to Wasim Akram on the untimely death of his wife.

Haris Ahmed Khan, the former Pakistan Customs off-spinner turned qualified coach, has played the pivotal role in roping in the celebrated cricketers to join hands with the IR and take their noble mission forward.

Haris, in his brief speech, recalled that it didn’t take long for him to convince Rashid Latif and Moin Khan who readily agreed to be a part of the fund-raiser in the United Sates (US).

“Then we took Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi to the northern areas of the country devastated by the earthquake in October 2005. They realized the gravity of the situation after reaching there and immediately volunteered their services for the IR,” Haris stated.
Rashid Latif, a former Pakistan captain, shared his experiences at the IR, saying he’s touched after watching the destruction of the various towns by the earthquake.

“It was really very painful to walk on those rocky surfaces where hundreds of people had been buried alive just a few days ago. We took the responsibility of playing our part in helping the people in need,” Rashid remarked.

Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain, Shahid Afridi, announced that he believed in looking at life beyond cricket and it was the reason of him coming on board at the IR.

“When I visited the floods-affected areas of Balochistan I was dismayed at the sufferings of the people who were struggling for basic amenities. Even more depressing was the inaction of the government. Thankfully the IR was there and I made up my mind to contribute my bit in letting them accomplish their cherished goals,” the flamboyant all-rounder asserted.

Pakistan’s captain for Tests and One-day Internationals, Younis Khan, believed that they had to undertake the responsibility of serving the humanity, particularly those who are less fortunate, having been hit by disasters.

“As a human being it’s our duty to care for others. The IR has been doing a great job and I consider a privilege to be a part of their team. It has been hectic at times but we take pride in playing our part by participating in the fund-raisers,” Younis added.

Jalaluddin, a former Test fast bowler, has also been a motivating force in facilitating the Islamic Relief who had commenced operations in Pakistan in 1992 after having secured registration with the Security & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) as a company limited by guarantee (Local NGO). It is also registered with the Economic Affairs Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Chief Justice approached for taking note of PCB irregularities

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, has been approached for taking suo motto action against the former officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) having been found guilty of massive financial irregularities by the Auditor General of Pakistan.

Razaullah Khan, the longest serving council member of the PCB, who has been known and feared for calling a spade a spade, has once more taken the initiative of bringing to book the people having been engaged in malpractices of the highest order.

“Yes I have submitted a request to the Chief Justice for taking a suo motto action against Dr Nasim Ashraf, Shafqat Naghmi and others who have been found involved in the embezzlement of funds to the tune of Rupees seven billion,” Razaullah Khan remarked in an interview recently.

“Alongwith my application to the Chief Justice I have submitted a copy of the report of the Auditor General of Pakistan that details the corrupt practices of the PCB officials. I have also brought the matter to the notice of Chaudhary Nisar Ali, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, by sending him a copy of the same report,” he added.

Razaullah Khan, who has been associated with the game of cricket in various capacities for nearly half a century now, did not mince words in stating that he has had to approach the Chief Justice after having failed to get any response from the government agencies.

“I have communicated to the Chief Justice that I have approached him after having knocked at the various doors without any response. The people in the government have their own reasons of not initiating action against the former PCB officials even though the report of the Auditor General of Pakistan has found them guilty,” Razaullah Khan said.

“The Auditor General of Pakistan has compiled the report after they had been assigned the task by the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the Patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board,” the former PCB Council member revealed.

“Now when the report has come out and it has been very clearly pointed out that the former officials of the PCB were guilty of financial embezzlement there is no reason why they should not taken to task. I have appealed to the Chief Justice to take suo motto action and register a case against them,” Razaullah Khan stated.
“Exemplary punishment must be given to the PCB officials for having misused the public money and having derived huge personal benefits besides having obliged their near and dear ones,” he pleaded.

“It was a common belief that Dr Nasim Ashraf and Shafqat Naghmi were running the affairs of the PCB at their whims. The recent report by the Auditor General of Pakistan has only confirmed that they have deprived the nation of billions of rupees,” Razaullah Khan believed.

He didn’t expect the present officials of the PCB to move against their predecessors because in his opinion there still were quite a few employees in the Board having sympathy with their former masters.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pakistan lift Twenty20 World Cup

Considered as underdogs, Pakistani cricket players rose to the top by beating Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 World Cup finals at the Lord’s in London yesterday.
The victory coincided with international Father's Day and 56th birth anniversary of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.
It wasn’t the edge-of-the-seat final that would have signed off the ICC World Twenty20 in style, but that won't matter to Pakistan who gave their nation a something to savour amid troubled times. From the moment Tillakaratne Dilshan, the tournament's top-scorer, fell in the opening over Pakistan had a grip on the match. Shahid Afridi, who emerged as their trump card, guided his team home in the 19th over with an unbeaten 54, and it was left to Younis Khan to raise the trophy in what he later announced would be his final Twenty20 international, in front of a sea of delirious Pakistan supporters.
The masses were cheering from early on as Abdul Razzaq - a great individual comeback-story among the team's resurgence - claimed three key wickets in his opening burst to leave Sri Lanka on 32 for 4.
The destination of the trophy was sealed when he swung a huge six over midwicket off Isuru Udana in the 18th over - the moment when Sangakkara gambled on one of his weaker bowling links - and followed that with another boundary off a high full toss.
Shoaib Malik played his part with 24 off 22 balls in a match-winning stand of 76 after Kamran Akmal had given early impetus to the top-order.
Pakistan's rise from rank outsiders to champions is an extraordinary display for a team that had to beat Netherlands by a significant margin to even stay in the event during the group stages. However, they have peaked at the right time and couldn't have produced a more complete performance for a final. They fell five runs short two years ago at Johannesburg, but this time there was no mistake.
Sri Lanka, who have been the model of consistency, were caught off guard by aggressive tactics. In a stirring atmosphere, Pakistan were on top of their game from the start as 17-year-old Mohammad Aamer belied his inexperience with a tone-setting opening over. In a clear plan he bowled short at Dilshan who was distinctly discomforted by the approach. Against the fifth ball Dilshan tried to take the initiative with a scoop over short fine-leg, but only managed to pick out the man on the edge of the circle.
He had middled virtually all his attempts at the shot during the tournament and what a time for it to go wrong. (NC Report)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hamara Karachi Festival ‘Malakhda Competitions’: ‘Only the poor have kept this sport alive’

KARACHI: The civilisation of Sindh has sustained its primary characteristics and most of the themes from different eras, although, many have also vanished from the screen.
Traditional wrestling, which is an inevitable and integrated part of the Sindh civilisation, is as alive as it was thousands of years ago and it will remain so till the end of time. Gadap Town Nazim Ghulam Murtaza Baloch stated this while addressing a gathering of people from Gadap Town on the Hamara Karachi Festival ‘Malakhda Competitions’ held at Thado Dam in Gadap Town on Saturday.
Talking to Daily Times, Baloch said that Malakhda is a popular sport in rural areas of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab but only the poor have kept this sport alive. The competition attracted Malakhda wrestlers from all districts of Sindh including Karachi, district Lasbella in Balochistan and district Multan in Punjab.
The City District Government Karachi (CDGK) registered the Karachi Malh Association so that the sport can be promoted. However, there is an urgent need for an exclusive Malakhda Stadium in the city while the Malakhda wrestlers should be patronised and they should be given employment just like other sportsmen have been facilitated financially, suggested Baloch.
“I request City Nazim Mustafa Kamal to consider establishing a dedicated Malakhda Stadium in the city and offer jobs and other facilities to the wrestlers,” said Baloch.
Talking to Daily Times, CDGK City Council Treasury Bench Leader Asif Siddiqui, who represented the city naib nazim at the competition, said that it was nice to see the way the people of the rural outskirts of the city celebrated the festival and these joint celebrations will promote relations between the two social classes of the province.
The Malakhda competition is a traditional sport of Sindh and it will be ensured that such sports events are held in every town of the city during the next Hamara Karachi Festival, said Siddiqui.
CDGK City Council Member Advocate Sarwat Arif told Daily Times that Gadap Town has the largest number of rural people in the city. Malakhda is one of the most popular sports in these areas and it should be promoted. In this regard, the MQM members in the City Council will fully support a resolution tabled as Donkey Racing has already been patronised.
The unique and colourful show of Malakhda attracted thousands of people from all over Sindh while more than 40 Malakhda wrestlers from different districts of Sindh took part in the competition.
Malakhda wrestler Nadim Palari of Palari Goth near Sohrab Goth defeated Rahim Bux Sheedi of district Thatta and won the first prize in the competition along with Rs 10,000. Wrestler Sher Muhammad Sheikh of district Dadu defeated wrestler Shakoor Sheedi of district Thatta and was the runner-up, he was given Rs 7,000. Wrestler Lal Muhammad alias Guldasta of Karachi defeated wrestler Shafi Chandio of district Nawabshah and was given the third position with a cash prize of Rs 5,000.( Irfan Aligi)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Younis Khan excels on pitch of his own choice

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

It’s really childish to believe that the newly installed Pakistan captain, Younis Khan, had no say in the preparation of the pitch that very nearly produced a result on the final evening at the National Stadium, Karachi.

Equally bewildering was the statement of the Pakistan coach, Intikhab Alam, at the end of the second day in which he had blasted the curators for preparing a pitch where the Sri Lankans had piled up a huge total.

It’s an open secret that the curators had prepared the pitch in accordance with the guidelines from the Pakistan management that indeed included both Intikhab Alam as well as Younis Khan.

Obviously the home team desired a track that did not assist the spin bowling because Sri Lanka had a couple of great spinners in their folds. They didn’t dare putting their own batsmen to risk by ordering for a lively track with the procession that followed in the third One-day International at the Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore, still at the back of their minds.

When you don’t wish a pitch that doesn’t assist the spinners or fast bowlers then what else are you going to get other than a perfect batting strip. So why blame the ground staff if you yourself are short of confidence. It was Pakistan's first home Test in 16 months and they were not willing to take chances.

Intikhab Alam, it’s generally believed, had a go at the curators at the end of the second day because he was still unsure whether the home batsmen will be able to cope with the pressure after Sri Lanka had posted a mammoth total.

Much to the satisfaction of the home batsmen, the pitch remained as docile on the last three days as it was on the first couple of days. Younis Khan was the major beneficiary, scoring a triple century. He was in fact eyeing Brian Lara’s record of 400 when play began on the final day.

The Pakistan skipper made the most of the favourable batting conditions before being finally dismissed after scoring 313, easily his highest Test score. The Sri Lankan bowlers faced greater embarrassment as wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal slogged them at will. He could have a gone on to score a triple century had the innings not been declared.

Sri Lanka would not have hoped for conceding a first innings lead of 123 after having rattled 644 for 7. Pakistan declared at 765 for 6 and more drama was to follow in the afternoon. The visitors could have become the first team to lose a Test match after having 600 runs in the first innings.

Sri Lanka faced defeat after losing fifth wicket when still in the red. Pakistan were still in with a chance of pushing for a victory but the visitors played out the final overs to earn a draw.

The lackluster captaincy of Mahela Jayawardene passed the impression that he had made a correct decision of giving up the leadership at the end of the tour. He did score a double century in the first innings but his body language in the field was not all that positive and his soft dismissal in the second outing didn’t help the cause of his team either.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yunus Khan’s captain inning ends at 313

KARACHI: The last day play of the first test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, being played in the National Stadium here, continued when the host captain Yunus Khan after brilliantly scoring triple ton finally lost concentration at 313 and went back to the pavilion.

Yunus Khan yesterday added feather to his cap as the only batsman thus far scoring triple ton against Sri Lanka and playing a record captain’s inning from Pakistan.

Yunus Khan today came to the field having an eye on Brian Lara’s record and was seen chasing the highest ever score of 400 runs, but sadly he couldn’t achieve the target, as he was bowled out by Sri Lankan bowler Fernando at 313, when his team’s score was at 596.

Pakistan team with four wickets in hand, still struggling to equalize the Sri Lankan first inning scores and save the follow-on.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ehsan Qureshi’s Fiasco launched with great fanfare

By Mohammad Nazakat Ali

Ehsan Qureshi’s masterpiece by the name of Fiasco was launched at the picturesque Karachi Club Annexe on the evening of February 20. What a wonderful setting it was and even more glittering was the presence of Pakistan’s cricket luminaries.
There could not have been a better venue for the launching of such a wonderful book. Although the day had been unusually hot by February standards there was plenty of cool breeze in the banquet hall of the Karachi Club Annexe when the ceremony started about an hour before the sunset.
Fiasco: An Eyewitness Account of World Cup 2007 is presented in hardbound and there are 272 pages between covers. It’s sixth book to be authored by Ehsan Qureshi, working as the Senior Sports Reporter at the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) for the past couple of decades.
Fiasco contains many untold stories about the mega event in which Pakistan crashed and coach Bob Woolmer died under mysterious circumstances has been published by Jumbo Publishing and its priced Pak Rs 800.
Federal Sports Minister, Pir Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani, who was the chief guest in the launching ceremony, demanded an apology from Jamaican Police for mental torture, trauma and embarrassment caused to the Pakistanis in the alleged Bob Woolmer murder case.
“The Jamaican Police had gone overboard with their investigations and they should not have treated the Pakistan cricketers and journalists as suspects. The then officials of PCB did not handle the situation properly which allowed the Jamaican Police to act freely,” the Federal Minister believed.
Pir Aftab Jilani, himself a former cricketer, spoke at length about the issues of the game and assured the governmental support to the present PCB setup headed by Ijaz Butt, whom he considered a committed and energetic administrator.
The Minister disclosed that he had been stunned to learn some of the facts that have been brought to light by Ehsan Qureshi in his book. He lauded the efforts of the author for coming up with an excellent publication.
The Chairman of the PCB, Ijaz Butt, who presided over the ceremony, did not throw light on the World Cup 2007 but he commended the author for having done a fabulous job.
He reckoned that the journalists and authors producing books should be encouraged by the PCB as well as government and private sector.
The Pakistan Captain Younis Khan, who was a part of the World Cup 2007 team in Caribbean, hoped that the national team would be performing better and their goal was to win the 2011 World Cup.
The Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam showered Ehsan Qureshi with praise for producing his fourth book on the World Cup and sixth overall.
The Group Sports Editor, Jang Group of Newspapers, Gul Hameed Bhatti, was of the opinion that such books are of great historical value and Ehsan Qureshi’s contribution needs to be acknowledged.
Ehsan Qureshi, in his speech, talked about the distress caused to him and his family by the screening of the footage by BBC in their programme Panaroma in which he and fellow journalist Abdul Majid Bhatti were shown as the last persons to have met Bob Woolmer before his death.
Seniors journalist Abdul Qadir Qureshi, who is also the mentor of Ehsan Qureshi, presented the vote of thanks. The ceremony was conducted in his vintage style by the famous anchor Sardar Khan.
The Sindh Sports Minister, Dr.Muhammad Ali Shah, Pakistan’s vice captain Misbah-ul-Haq, ex-captain Shoaib Malik, Danish Kaneria, Faisal Iqbal, former cricketers Waqar Hasan, Mushtaq Muhammad, Aaqib Javed, Shoaib Muhammad, Iqbal Qasim, Yawar Saeed, Salahuddin Ahmed, Abdul Raquib, hockey Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui, KCCA Vice Presidents, Ajmal Ansari and Nadeem Omar were also present on the occasion.
There was a large turnout of the media professionals as well. The duo of A Aziz Rehmatullah and Haji Abdul Razzaq, who had launched the Cricket World Quarterly in late 1970s, was very much there as was Riaz Ahmed Mansuri, who brought out the famous magazine The Cricketer Pakistan.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

KCCA President puts his weight behind Younis Khan

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The President of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, reckons that the newly installed skipper Younis Khan has the temperament and the skills to come good in the hot heat.

“Having known him closely for a number of years, I firmly believe that he has the potential to rise to the occasion. Captaining the Pakistan team presents a very big challenge to anyone but Younis is one man who has the capability to deliver,” Dr Shah stated in a recent conversation.

Dr Shah, who is also the Minister of Sports in the province of Sindh besides being the President of the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA), appeared convinced that Younis will handle the demanding situation pretty well.

“I don’t think that his batting will be affected or he will feel burdened by captaincy. He knows how to handle the pressure. A truly gifted batsman, having scored heavily for the past many years, he seems to be possessing the leadership qualities to motivate the national team whose morale is on the lower side after the defeat in the recent ODI series against Sri Lanka,” Dr Shah, who is himself an iconic figure in the field of medicine and surgery, observed.

“Younis has had very time little time at his disposal because the Sri Lankans have now returned for the two-Test series. He was appointed the national skipper soon after the debacle in the ODI series. Here is an opportunity for him to lead by example and turn it around,” he believed.

“Younis is basically an enterprising cricketer. He has batted well in all parts of the world, having scored consistently against the strongest of bowling attacks. He has been rated as one of the best number three batsmen in the business. He needs to continue scoring heavily because his team would be looking forward to him. He is the senior most batsman in the side and he will need to bring all his experience into play to lead from the front,” Dr Shah stated.

The words of encouragement from Dr Shah should be a source of inspiration for Younis, who was appointed as captain of Pakistan soon after Shoaib Malik had stepped down following 234-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the third ODI at the Qaddafi Stadium.

Younis was indeed the automatic choice to take over provided he was willing to accept the job. He had been offered the national captaincy in the past as well but he had made a mess of the opportunity that came his way.

It was described as a collective decision of the PCB to appoint Younis as the skipper once Shoaib Malik was out of the way.

Younis was playing the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match for his employers Habib Bank Limited (HBL) at the Qaddafi Stadium when he was summoned for a meeting with the PCB chairman, Ijaz Butt. According to the reports the meeting didn’t last more than 15 minutes and the middle-order batsman consented to lead the national team without having a second thought.

Probably in order to make the new skipper a little more comfortable, the PCB Chairman, had ruled out the possibility of having separate captains for Tests and One-day Internationals as Younis was installed as captain for Tests as well as ODIs for an indefinite period.