Islamabad – Ayaz Khan helped Al-Nujoom to outplay Al-Wahda Hitters to clinch the 1st Zalmi Madrassa Cricket League trophy at Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Legendary cricketer Younis Khan, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noor Ul Haq Qadri, former pacer M Akram, MPA Zia Ullah, Zalmi Foundation chairman Javed Afridi, Ulemas, Peshawar Bishop, Amir Nawab, officials, players and a large number of spectators were also present.
Put in to bat first, Al-Wahda setup a meager target of 104-3 with opener Adil Nawaz hammered a cracking 42 runs including 5 fours and 2 sixes and Jalil Khan 20. For Al-Nujoom, Haris claimed 2-14 and Luqman 1-22. In reply, Al-Nujoom chased the target for the loss of four wickets with Ayaz slamming unbeaten 41 runs including 3 sixes and 2 fours. When the team needed 36 in the last two overs, Ayaz struck 41 in 2 overs even a winning six in the last over to steer the team to a convincing six-wickets victory. Umar made 28 runs including 3 boundaries. For Al Wahda Hitters, Taimoor grabbed 2-22 and Atiq 1-13.
A total of 12 Madrassa teams from all across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took part in the league. The aim and objective of the league is to involve the students of the Madrasas in healthy sports activities. Ayaz was declared as man of the match while Farooq was named the best batsman, Niamat Ullah best bowler and Asif best fielder.
Chief guests Younus Khan, Noor Ul Haq Qadri, Javed Afridi, M Akram and Zia Ullah Bangash gave away trophies and cash prizes to the winners, runners-up and top performers.
Speaking on this occasion, Younus Khan lauded the efforts being put in holding madrasas league for involving the students of Madrasas in healthy sports activities. Imran always talked about Madrasas students and that is why Javed Afridi masterminded the league only spot out talent from all Madrasas.
About the change in Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) setup, Younus said surely cricket would be further promoted and brought back on right track. To a query, he said: “Yes, if he would accept any responsibility, if Imran wants to repose on him in the PCB.”
About nomination of Atif Ur Rehman as Sports Minister KP, Younus said that he has to work hard for keeping the pace of sports high. “Lot of work has been done in the past regarding sports and that is why Atif has to make himself more vibrant to keep up the ongoing pace of sports high. I also suggest Atif to learn ABC of sports as well because it is very important when you act as minister sports, you have to know things about the sports.”
He was super pleased with the efforts of Peshawar Zalmi and said that ‘these initiatives need to happen more frequently. As sports is a platform that can bring everyone together and also promoting harmony along with it’. “Zalmi Madrassa League is initiatives that have set an example for others. Not only has it provided the madrasa students a cricket platform but has also promoted a positive image of Pakistan,” he added.