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Sports

May 16, 2018

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Ramazan T20 cricket gets under way

Syed Khalid Mahmood

KARACHI: The sixth edition of the Naya Nazimabad Ramazan Cup Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2018 was inaugurated by Saeed Ahmed, President, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), in a colourful ceremony, under floodlights, here at the picturesque Hussain Lawai Stadium late on Monday evening.

The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Group, in the presence of quite a few current and former cricketers which included Iqbal Qasim, Abdul Raqeeb, Umar Akmal, Muhammad Irfan and Muhammad Nawaz.

All the 25 matches of the 21-day event will be played at the same venue with the final scheduled to be contested on June 4. The event is being sponsored by Naya Nazimabad for the fifth year running with Fatima Fertilizer and Power Cement being the co-sponsors and Geo Super being the media partners.

Speaking briefly on the occasion, Arif Habib highlighted the emergence of Naya Nazimabad as one of the most sought after cricket venues of the metropolis which stood out in beauty and elegance besides possessing state of the art facilities at the ground. Samad Habib, CEO, Javedan Corporation, revealed that after the success of the Hussain Lawai Stadium many more sporting facilities were being developed in Naya Nazimabad in an effort to boost the cause of indoor and outdoor sports.

Iqbal Qasim, a former Test left-arm spinner and an ex-chief of the national selection committee, praised the management of Naya Nazimabad for having built such a magnificent stadium. One of his contemporaries, Abdul Raqeeb, also a former left-arm spinner, echoed similar sentiments and expressed the hope that the stadium will be hosting national tournaments in future. Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, Co-Chairman, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), was delighted with the continued development of sporting infrastructure in Naya Nazaimabad. Meanwhile the 12 participating teams have been divided equally in three groups for the preliminary rounds of the Naya Nazimabad Ramazan Cup. The top two teams from each group will qualify automatically for the quarter-finals. Two more teams, having the best net run rate, will join them in the quarter-final line-up. The Group A comprises of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC), State Bank of Pakistan, Brighto Paints and Rahman Foundation while the Group B features defending champions Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Omar Associates and Sindh Police with Dollar East, K-Electric, Pakistan Customs and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) constituting the Group C.

The league matches will conclude on May 27 while the quarter-finals will be played from May 29 to June 1. The semifinals will be held on June 2 and 3 with the final due to take place on June 4. All the knockout matches will be telecast live on Geo Super.

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