KARACHI – 5th PTBF National Ranking Tenpin Bowling Championship-2019 will start today at Arena Bowling Alley, Karachi.
Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation vice president Khawaja Ahmed Mustaqeem, who is also CEO of Virtual Axis informed this while addressing a press conference here at Karachi Press Club along with PTBF Secretary Ijaz Ur Rehman and Aleem Agha on Tuesday, he further said, the mega championship carries a prize money of more than Rs 300,000, besides trophies and shirts being provided by the organisers.
He further said, PTBF had allocated this event to Virtual Axis in 2014 and in the very first year, I managed to gather more than 500 bowlers from across the country, while more than 250 girls also participated in the inaugural edition, which was a record, while I distributed a whopping Rs 1 million cash, trophies and other valuable prizes to the participants.
He further said, this time too, the main attraction of the championship is the inter-school event, in which 240 school-kids from different schools of Karachi will be in action, while the event will start today at 11:00am with inter-school and amateur categories and the Masters singles, inter-schools, trios, amateurs, and media categories will start from 10th, we tried to include ladies category as well, but due to the shortage of female players, we were left with no other option but to scrap ladies category.
He further said, we are taking only Rs 5000 entry fee, while we will spend Rs 7200 on every player, we don’t want to mint money, but to provide quality and competitive competitions to bowlers, the championship will conclude on 13th of this month, we are expecting Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr. Fahmida Mirza to grace the closing ceremony as chief guest, while inauguration ceremony will be attended by 5 former national champions and we want to honor them.
He further said, 3-time national champion Ijaz is the top seed, while other major players like, former national champion, Saleem Baig, Shabbir Lashkarwala, Ali Suria, Aleem Agha, Khawaja Ahmed Mustaqeem, Danish Bakhsi, Fazil Mania, while national champion Sardar Ahmer Abbas Caldera will miss the event, as he is in the UK for completing his studies.
He further said, for the very first time in history of Pakistan tenpin, each player will be given 24 games each, to provide them an opportunity to be able to compete at international level, for the first time, oiling machine is being used and PTBF provided the machine, we will take top 10 kids from schools and take them to amateur category, we will provide them with training and then on merit send them abroad for international events.
He further said, through this tournament we are going to adopt a policy, which will duly be signed by the federation that only players, who took part in national ranking tournament s would be eligible to play in international events, it is a great initiative and genuine bowlers will take huge benefit from this step, while for the first time, huge sponsorship is being witnessed, which is a great sign for bowling promotion in Pakistan, I will like to personally thank Sports Fever 360, as for the first time live digital broadcast will be witnessed, which will help tenpin bowling get huge recognition in Pakistan, while Vital Tea, YES, Atrium Mall, All-Sindh Private Schools Management, PAC for their all-out support.
We are planning to hold inter-school tenpin bowling championship in July this year, in which entire Sindh schools will be in action, I want to say a big thanks to all the sports journalists for their time and support for this wonderful sports, rather than begging to government and others, my main focus is on the private sector and I am sure our efforts will bring the desired results.
While sharing his views PTBF Secretary Ijaz congratulated Khawaja Ahmed for his tireless efforts and ensuring such wonderful arrangements, federation keeping in mind highly limited resources doing everything we can to take this sports to every corner of the country, I had sold my house to construct a bowling alley and run from post to pillar to help the youth, when I introduced bowling in 2004, there were hardly few bowlers available, but thanks to Khawaja Ahmed, Aleem Agha, Saleem Baig, Muhammad Hussian Chatha, we manage to attract thousands of youngsters, we had arranged international coach to train our youth, Pakistan Sports Board is still unmoved, they only allocate Rs 500,000 annual grant and that too we had still to receive, as PSB doesn’t have funds, I played one of the best bowling of Pakistan’s history in recently concluded international event in the USA, I averaged 192, while we had spent Rs 1.2 million, PSB is not in mood to release the amount we spent from own pocket.
I had no desire to cling onto federation, I offer anyone to come and take over with just one promise, he or she will not let tenpin bowling die in Pakistan, as I can’t see this sports die, which I had given blood, I once again promise that I will not hesitate to help the youth and will do whatever I can to provide them opportunities both at national and international levels.