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January 19, 2021

Pakistan squad for world’s first online scrabble championship named

Sports

January 19, 2021

KARACHI: Pakistan Scrabble Association (PSA) Monday announced the eight-member squad for the first international online youth scrabble championship and also unveiled the trophy of the mega tournament starting from Friday.

Pakistan is hosting the first international online youth scrabble championship, titled Gladiators WESPA Youth Cup, in which 96 players from 16 countries of five continents will contest, the organisers said on Tuesday.

Having national and international scrabble champions, the Pakistani squad consists of Syed Imaad Ali, Hasham Hadi Khan, Monis Hussain Khan, Ali Salman, Usman Shaukat and Ali Wasif. Saim Waqar and Shan-e-Abbas are the reserved players.

Speaking on the occasion, Hassan Umer, director of the cricket franchise Quetta Gladiators, which is sponsoring the event along with pharmaceutical firm PharmEvo, said they are glad to be part of the championship and hoped that Pakistani squad would not let the trophy go away from the country. “Quetta Gladiators supports physical sports as well as scrabble, which is one of the best mind sports,” Hassan Umer said.

Tariq Pervez, Director Youth Programme of the Pakistan Scrabble Association (PSA), said it was an honour for Pakistan that the global regulatory body of scrabble, World English-language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA), had chosen Pakistan as the host for the championship. “We are going to hold the first virtual youth championship of the world in collaboration with Quetta Gladiators and Pharmevo”, he told a crowded news conference at the Pharmevo guest house, the venue of the tournament.

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 championship will be supervised by a team of highly qualified experts led by the Technical Director Vali Muhammad Khubaib. Young Hassan Hadi Khan has been chosen as the Tournament Director by WESPA.

“The entire management team of the tournament are from Pakistan. 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 maintained that teams are divided into four groups of four teams each which will play the group stages on round robin league basis. Top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.

Director Commercial of PharmEvo Mansoor Khan said they were collaborating with the PSA for the second time and their aim is to establish a healthy society.