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January 13, 2021

Pakistan to host world’s first online scrabble c’ship from January 22

Sports

January 13, 2021

Karachi: Pakistan will host WESPA Youth Cup, the first international online youth scrabble championship, from January 22, in which 96 players from 16 countries of five continents will compete, organisers said on Tuesday.

“It is a great honour for Pakistan that the global regulatory body of scrabble, World English-language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA), has chosen Pakistan as the host for the championship being played online for the first time due to the COVID-19 situation. We have decided to hold the first virtual youth championship of the world in collaboration with Quetta Gladiators and Pharmevo”, Tariq Pervez, Director Youth Programme of the Pakistan Scrabble Association (PSA), told a crowded news conference on Tuesday.

Accompanied by Faraz Maqbool of Quetta Gladiators, Mansoor Khan of Pharmevo, the sponsors of the event, Tournament Director Hassan Hadi Khan and Director Technical Vali M Khubaib, Tariq said they have come up with technological solutions to hold the virtual championship as all the scrabble events have been cancelled till 2022 in the world.

“The entire management team of the tournament will be from Pakistan. Around 16 countries from five continents will take part in the championship with each team consisting of six players. All players are under 18 years of age. For the first time this championship is being played on a team format instead of individual”, Tariq said.

He said that teams are divided into four groups of four teams each who will play the group stages on round robin league basis. Top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.

All games will be completely surveilled by the technical team through webcams. Selected matches will be live streamed with running commentary by world’s leading commentators Will Anderson and Jesse Day of USA. Waseem Khatri and Daniyal Sanaullah will be doing the Urdu commentary for Pakistani viewers.

Pakistan is considered one of the favourite teams. The Pakistan team will be announced at the end of the qualifying tournament on January 17.

Mansoor Khan said they are collaborating with the Pakistan Scrabble Association (PSA) for the second time and their intention is to establish a healthy society, a dream for which they have been striving for two decades.

Faraz Maqbool said their franchise is not only striving to promote physical games but is also very keen to support and promote mind sports, including scrabble, in Pakistan.