The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is ready to launch its own cricket team in the domestic cricket. It is also planning to start activities in other disciplines at the national level. This is great news for all sports lovers across the country who had been disappointed by the decline of sports in the country.
The CAA has established its own cricket team to participate in the Patron’s Trophy Grade II. It seeks to qualify for Pakistan’s most premier cricket championship, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
Last month CAA held two-day trials at CAA cricket ground near Quaid-e-Azam International Airport under the supervision of former firstclass cricketer Mahmood Rasheed.
The CAA high-ups, especially DG Air Marshal Asim Suleman, want CAA to play a role in national-level sports competitions. The CAA has Pakistan’s most astonishing indoor and outdoor sports complex, with cricket, football and hockey grounds, tartan track for athletic events, squash courts, swimming pool and tennis courts, and facilities for table tennis, volleyball, basketball and boxing.
Another most important component of this sports complex is the physical fitness club and gymnasium. Moreover, it has a well-equipped ladies fitness club.
The ground that CAA has developed already has a golden history. It is the ground where such players as Hanif Muhammad, Mushtaq Muhammad, Javed Miandad, Mohsin Khan, Sadiq Muhammad, Rashid Latif and Saeed Anwer have played. It used to be considered as one of the best cricket nurseries.
Director human resource of CAA Sumair Saeed, who envisaged the project, informed ‘The News on Sunday’: “Before establishing our own cricket team for Patron’s Trophy, first we redeveloped our cricket ground with four wickets and a lush green outfield under the guidance of experienced curators and groundsmen. Besides we have also developed four net practice wickets.”
He said the ground would be turned into a proper stadium, with pavilion and seating arrangements for spectators.
Sumair further said that the installation of floodlights at CAA cricket ground was an important part of their planning.
“We thought if we are to get involved in sports at the national level, we should have our own grounds, and indoor and outdoor sports facilities.
“The CAA cricket stadium will have all those facilities which are necessary for first class cricket. The cricket stadium project will be started within this year,” he said.
“The ground is being developed keeping in mind the requirements of first-class cricket ground. It will be a ground with facilities of night cricket,” he said.
Senior joint director sports of CAA, Akhtar Nadeem, told TNS that the cricket team had been selected through open trials and that talented players from various parts of the country appeared in the trials.
“We are not sitting idle waiting for the sports facilities to develop. We have already started our sporting activities in at least four disciplines: cricket, football, basketball and volleyball. Activities of these sports are being regularly held.
“We are going to participate in the Patron’s Trophy Grade II. Let’s see what happens. Our intentions are to participate in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy as soon as possible,” he added.
Nadeem said that before the matches, the CAA cricket team would do daily net practice and make its best efforts to maintain form and fitness under the coaching of Mehmmod Rasheed.
“The target to qualify for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy is tough but our boys will go all out as it is our ultimate target and hopefully cricket lovers will see an enthusiastic team in national cricket,” he added.
Nadeem said that CAA had sent the names of the players and officials to the Pakistan Cricket Board. Lateef Yar Khan would be the manager of the cricket team, he said.
Squad: Naveed Khan, Waleed Ahmed, Haris Ali Khan, M Arsalan Farzand, Yasir Mushtaq, Ali Raza Nazvi, M Baseer Khan, Awais Ahmed, Shahbaz Ahmed Kyani, Mohammad Yaqoob, Mohammad Arif, Bashir Iqbal, Faizan Ahmed, Jawad Ali, Basit Ali, Kahsif Ikhlaq, Noor-ul-Wahab, Atta Mohammad Tanoli, M Usman Usmani, S Shahzad H, Zaidi.
Officials: Mehmood Rasheed (Head Coach), Latif Yar Khan (Manager), Haider Ali (Assistant Coach), Rana Hanan Nasir (Assistant Manager).