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Qadir, Sohail, Azhar, Ijaz and Ata feted at grand reception

Qadir, Sohail, Azhar, Ijaz and Ata feted at grand reception

KARACHI: Former Test players Abdul Qadir and Aamir Sohail fear the worst for Pakistan cricket if concrete measures are not taken by the authorities.

Speaking at the eighth tribute of ‘An Evening with the Legends’ at the Five Star Marquee in Lahore recently, both Qadir and Sohail were critical of the present Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regime and urged the patron of the board to take serious notice of the irregularities taking place at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Both Qadir and Sohail praised the contribution of Dollar East Exchange Company for its generously in recognizing the services rendered by Pakistan cricketers who have played at the international and national levels.

Qadir and Sohail along with Pakistan ODI skipper Azhar Ali, ex-Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed and former Test seamer Ata-ur-Rehman were presented with cash awards and other prizes for their services to the country.

Qadir, one of the greatest leg-spinners to play international cricket, urged other private sector concerns to come forward and follow the example of Dollar East management in helping deserving sportsmen in need of financial support.

He praised Zaheer Ahmed Sheikh, the Dollar East sports director, for being the pioneer in organising the awards program for the last eight years. “Zaheer was extremely unfortunate to miss out playing for Pakistan since he was a very fine wicket-keeper who kept on my bowling when we played together for Habib Bank in national tournaments,” recalled Qadir.

Artargal Chaudhary, who was the master of ceremony, put 10 questions to each of the recipients.

Azhar, speaking on the occasion, apologised to the gathering at the national side’s poor performance in the post 2015 World Cup period that have left them now languishing at the ninth place in the ICC ODI team rankings.

Ata termed legendary Imran Khan as the inspiration for him that enabled him to represent Pakistan.

Farooq Dar, chairman of Dollar East company who was the chief guest on the occasion, thanked the cricketers for their participation and distributed cash awards and trophies to the five Pakistan players as well as former first-class cricketers Tariq Mahmood, Mohammad Riaz, Rasheed Bhatti and Sufi Tanvir, who died recently in an accident.

Zaheer pledged his company will continue to patronise outstanding cricketers in the future, while adding that that up to now 60 cricketers, 12 hockey Olympians and 10 showbiz personalities have been honoured.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2016

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