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‘PHF gets govt clearance for bilateral series against India’ K ARACHI —The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is planning to host the country for a bilateral Test series against India, and has received the government’s clearance in this regard even though the dates are yet to be finalised. “The government has given us clearance for the series [against Induia] and also agreed to provide funds for the series,” PHF president Akhtar Rasool said. The PHF has planned a home-andaway bilateral series against India this year and Akhtar said he was now awaiting a response from the Indian authorities. “We are keen to have this series with India this year but now we are waiting to see the response from the Indian hockey federation as they also

have to get clearance for the series,” he added. Once dominant teams in the international hockey arena, Pakistan and India are struggling to remain among the top nations. Pakistan even failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, a new low for the sport in the country. The PHF chief said it was necessary to bring more funds into the sport in Pakistan and also revive people’s interest in hockey. “That is why we see this planned series with India as very important. We are happy that our government is supporting us because. If this series goes through it will serve both purposes for us,” he said. The former Olympian said he was confident that with the formation of a

new government in India some ice will melt between the two countries allowing for the hockey ties to be revived this year. “If this happens it will benefit both teams,” Akhtar stated. Meanwhile, on one hand the PHF is trying its best to restart bilateral series with India this year, on the other, Hockey India is hardly optimistic about the timing and reckons it would be better to hold the series between the two countries in 2015. “We will try our best to organise the series this year but it’s doubtful,” a top HI official was quoted as saying. “I feel whatever happens will happen next year, as the new government needs time to settle down before taking such important decisions.”—Agencies

Saudi national cricket team to be trained at ASCC

PESHAWAR: Sports Minister Amjad Afridi giving away trophy of the KHUJ Cricket Tournament to the skipper of winning team at Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium.

FL&ES win UoP Employees Twenty20 Cricket title PESHAWAR—Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences (FL&ES) clinched the trophy after defeating PROVOST Department by two wickets in the thrilling final of the fourth University of Peshawar Employees Twenty20 Cricket Tournament played here at University Campus ground on Thursday. Director Admission Professor Dr. Hizbullah Khan was the chief guest on this occasion. Organizing Secretary and Director Sports University of Peshawar Bahre Karam, President PUTA Professor Dr. Nasir, General Secretary Fayyaz Ali, Deputy Registrar Noorzada, Technical Official Sajjad Ali Khan, players and officials were also present. A total of 10 teams comprising of all University employees including Faculty of Life and Environment Sciences, Director Works, PROVOST, Administration BlockB, Control of Examination in pool-A, Director of Administration, Administration BlockA, National Central of Excellence, Univer-

sity of Peshawar Teachers Association, Directorate of Sports. Earlier, in the final PROVOST Department won the toss and elected to bat first by setting up 146 runs in which Shakeel made 49 runs including three sixes, Riaz scored 27 runs with four boundaries, Maqsood scored 22 runs. For FoL&ES Tuheed, Atta Ullah, Tanveer got one wicket each. In reply, FoL&ES chased the target for the loss of eight wickets in which Azeem struck an elegant knock of 64 runs including six boundaries and four sixes, Atta Ullah (33) with three boundaries and one six, Tanveer made 19 runs. For PROVOST Department Riaz claimed three wickets, Fazal-e-Rabi took two wickets and Ishtiaq and Maqsood got one wicket each. Thus FoL&ES won the match by two wickets. At the end, the chief guest gave away trophies and cash prizes. He also announced a joyride tour of Baragali for both the teams besides cash incentives and uniform.—APP

Green-shirts ouster from HWC lies on the nation: Mansoor Ahmed I S L A M A B A D —Former ace goal-keeper watch our matches regularly with pasMansoor Ahmed feels disappointed for the green-shirts, being not a part of the 2014 Hockey World Cup, but still has some of his own old memories to cherish for the mega event saying the responsibility of the four-time winner Pakistan’s ouster from the extravaganza lies on the nation more than the Federation. The 2014 Men’s Hockey World Cup will be the 13th edition of the Hockey World Cup and will be staged from May 31 to June 15 at the Netherlands. This will be the first time that Pakistan has not qualified for the mega event. Talking to APP, Mansoor, who was declared the World’s best goalkeeper by FIH in 1994, said he remembers the final of the 1994 Hockey World Cup at Australia against Holland when it was decided that each team hits the other’s net five times will be the winner. “I remember when I saved two penalty hits from the Dutchmen and chants of “Hockey Power, Paki Power” filled the air of the Sydney stadium. It was the best moment of my life,” he said. Mansoor said the Pakistan nation has a lot to do with the decline of the national game from the past few years. “At our times Pakistani nation used to

sion but nowadays the people have stopped taking interest in the game,” he said. Mansoor said now he didn’t see any crowd coming to the hockey matches or watching them on television. “When our cricket team loses the whole nation criticizes them and when they win the same praise them,” he said adding “but the people don’t bother and take no interest if our national hockey team loses or wins.” Speaking of the national team’s chances in the Asian Games to be held in South Korea in September, Mansoor who had been awarded President Award in 1988 and Pride of Performance, the Highest civil award in 1994, said teams of India and Malaysia will give Pakistan a tough competition in the event. Responding to a question, Mansoor said when Shahnaz Sheikh has accepted the responsibility of being the national coach, then he should fulfill it rather than saying that it would take 3 to 4 years to bring the national team on track. “Our team is the defending champions of Asian Games and if in this event the team performs below par, then the responsibility lies on the coach,” he said.—APP

K ARACHI —The national cricket team from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is due to arrive here in the early hours of Friday to hold a five-day training camp at the Arabian Sea Country Club (ASCC) cricket ground before leaving for Kuala Lumpur to play in an event of the Asian Cricket Council. This is the second time in quick succession that a foreign team has selected ASCC with its first class cricket facility. Recently the Afghanistan national team came to the ASCC to train for an ACC event held in Malaysia. The Afghans have qualified to play next year’s ICC World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Foreign teams have preferred to train at the ASCC because of its facilities, both for playing and boarding. Practice matches are also arranged for the visitors. State of the art day/night cricket facilities are provided. Recently the Pakistan Cricket Board awarded Patrons Cricket Trophy matches to ASCC. The club on its own organized an event in which zonal teams of the KCCA took part which included night matches.—APP

U-14 football reaches to semi final stage L AHORE —Sports Board Punjab (SBP), Azad Kashmir, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) football teams qualified for the semifinals of Inter-Provincial U14 Boys Football Championship at Boys Degree College ground, Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir on Thursday. According to information made available here, after the league round matches, SBP and Sindh topped the A and B pools respectively. SBP U-14 soccer team will face either KP in the first semifinal while the second semifinal will be played between Sindh and Azad Kashmir tomorrow, Friday. Two matches were played on the third day of the event. In the first match, KP defeated GB by 2-1 while the second match remained a goal-less draw between Punjab and Azad Kashmir.—APP

PESHAWAR: Mohammad Amir hosting National Flag during the inaugural ceremony of National Paralympics Games at Qayum Sports Complex on Thursday.

Sibling Yasir, Jalil to clash in Anti-Tobacco Tennis singles final KARACHI—Brothers Yasir Khan and by wrapping the second set 6-3 to setJalil Khan will clash in men’s singles final of Anti Tobacco Day Tennis Tournament after they won their semi-finals in a contrasting fashions at the Karachi Club hard courts here on Thursday. Pakistan’s Davis Cup star Yasir faced a stiff challenge from veteran Davis Cupper Nomi Qamar before cruising into the final after winning on super tie-breaker. Yasir youngest of Aqeel and Jalil siblings, got off to a superb start by grabbing the first set 6-3 with a brilliant powerful services combined with attacking ground strokes. Despite being outplayed in the opening set, Nomi showed great fighting qualities and demonstrating consistent display he levelled the terms

Football tournament kicks off today RENALA KHURD—The 15th Sajid Hafeez Shaheed All Punjab Football tournament will start from May 30 at nearby village 4/1RA here. The tournament will continue till June 8. Former state minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhrari will be the chief guest at inauguration ceremony while Federal Parliamentary Secretary Ashiq Hussain Kirmani will be chief guest on concluding ceremony of the tournament. Prominent teams, including Pakistan Railway, Wapda, Punjab University, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad are participating.—APP

up an exciting finish. However Yasir ’s strong service proved took hot for Nomi Qamar to handle and he almost conceded 10-0 without winning a single points in the tie-breaker. Yasir ’s elder brother Jalil faced strong challenge from teenager Hasan Farooq before chalking straight sets victory. Demonstrating brilliant all-round court craft and attacking game, Jalil raced to 6-1 victory in the first set. Hasan, who the other day shocked own coach Vinod Das fought hard before going down fighting having lost the second set 6-4. But Hasan Farooq advanced in the semi-finals of Juniors U18 with a hardfought 7-5, 7-5 win.

The men’s singles final will be played on Friday while remaining finals of the tournament will be held on Saturday at 5.30 p.m. Sindh Minister for Women’s Development Ms. Rubina Qaimkhani will be the chief guest at the presentation ceremony. Following are results: Men’s singles Semi-finals: Yasir Khan bt Nomi Qamar 6-3, 3-6, 10-0, Jalil Khan bt Hasan Farooq 6-1, 6-4 U18 quarterfinals: Hasan Farooq by Saad Muhammad Ali 7-5, 7-5, Nazif Ahmed walkover Marib Malik, Talha Zubair bt Aqeel Shabbir 6-3, 6-1. U14 Quarter-finals: Nauman Aftab bt Rayyan Imran 6-3, 6-0, Fahad Haider bt Shazil Malik 4-6, 6-2, 10-2, Ebad Ahmed walkover Rayyan Jawad, Muhammad Ahmed walkover Amin Shafi.—APP

Fifteen sportspersons short listed for awards KARACHI—The scrutiny committee for the months but the attitude of provincial sports Karachi Commissioner Sportspersons of the Year awards for 2013 short listed 15 candidates on Thursday after scrutinising their credentials. However, the committee which met at the Karachi Commissioner office expressed its dismay over non-cooperation and not submission of complete documents by sports bodies and athletes for consideration of the awards and lamented the poor response from sports associations and sportspersons in this regard. The committee unanimously decided not to extend the time anymore and went ahead by verifying nominations and certificates that have already been received for the awards. Much hype had been created in media for the lucrative awards for the last three

associations and the sportspersons has been disappointing to say the least. There are scores of talented athletes who have come out with shining performances in the domestic events last year but they will not be able to get their reward due to non-submission of documents. Only domestic performances of a Karachi-domiciled sportsperson during the period of Jan 1 to Dec 31 2013 are taken into consideration for four main and six special awards. The four main awards are open man and woman and under-19 man and woman. The players who have travelled abroad will not be considered at all. The date for conferring the awards will be announced soon in consultation with the Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui.—Agencies

All Pakistan hockey from June 8 RAHIM YAR KHAN—First All Pakistan Quaid- matches would be played at Khawja Fareed e-Azam gold cup hockey tournaent will commence here in the district from June 8 with the participation of 15 teams from the country. Organising secretary of the event Rana Arif Qayyum said this while talking to APP here on Thursday.He dilated that 15 teams including Pak Steel, Pak police, MEPCO and others would contest for the trophy. All the

Government college ground. Meanwhile,other tournament organisers commended the contribution of Federal parliamentary secretary port & shipping Mian Imtiaz Ahmed, Senator Ch Jaffer Iqbal,district sports committee and distt hockey association alongwith TMA RYK for holding the event in RYK district.—APP

LAHORE: Sportspersons riding bicycles in HEC Inter-Universities Women’s Cycling Championship 2013-14 at Velodrome Punjab Stadium.