KARACHI: National Cricket Academy of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Mobilink announced on Friday to launch a talent hunt programmed for future cricket heroes in Pakistan in collaboration with GEO network. It is a first of its kind activity that would provide an opportunity for genuine talented cricketers throughout Pakistan playing in the unstructured environments on the streets and pavements around the country.
The program is expected to draw thousands of prospective cricketers, who after proper coaching will be nurtured to become the future cricket heroes of Pakistan like great Pakistani stars Zaheer Abbass, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, or Wasim Akram .Mobilink would be assisting the cricketers through an ‘Educational Fund’ who would require support to further their education while continuing playing cricket.
Commenting on the countrywide launch of the programme, Zouhair A. Khaliq, President Mobilink said, “Cricket is the game of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Being the official mobile phone service company of Pakistan Cricket, it was our promise to create a nationwide talent and outreach program that could one day change the lives of ordinary young men to become heroes of tomorrow.” Chairman PCB Dr Nasim Ashraf while appreciating the support of Mobilink said that this is the first time the PCB will be reaching out to the rural areas of Pakistan directly in search of potential talented cricketers. The hunt will reach out to the people countrywide and every single Pakistani, no matter where they live, poor or rich, will be able to get a chance of making it to the cricket team based solely on talent, he added.
According to the format of the scheme, open trials will be held for 10 days simultaneously in all the four provinces. The short listed players would then be given a chance to play three one-day matches to prove their talent and get selected in the final fifteen of each of their respective regions, to be selected by regional selection committee.
The hunt will start from the first week of September and will continue till January 2008. The main aim of this program is to bring in talented players for the U-16 team of Pakistan who will then be trained over the years and seasoned to join the National team of Pakistan.
Talking to the press Imran Aslam, President Geo Network said that it is great to be part of this alliance as cricket is loved by all Pakistanis and promoting it in a way that will reach people in all parts of the country is not just a big responsibility but a commitment on the part of our three organizations. In the second phase the selected cricketers will then be nurtured, under the watchful eyes of seasoned coaches and mentors, at National Cricket Academy of PCB in Lahore for a period of six weeks.-SANA