ISLAMABAD    -    Pakistan Badminton Federation (PBF) Secretary Wajid Ali Chaudhry has hoped that with all-out support of IPC and PSB, he is confident of hosting the upcoming Pakistan Series International Badminton Tournament 2019 at Rodham Hall, Pakistan Sports Complex from November 7 to 10 in a begetting manner.

Lauding the cooperation of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza and PSB Acting Director General Amna Imran, Wajid said: “The way Rodham Hall is giving fantastic look is highly commendable. I was worried about the arrangements and especially about condition of the venue, as the hall was not prepared well to host such a grand event, in which 12 international countries and 40 top foreign players would be seen in action, but the IPC minister delivered for the country and badminton.

“As per promise, Acting DG Amna Imran, under the directives of the IPC minister, paid daily visits. The way the PSB staff was involved and the way now Rodham Hall is giving an international touch, I am highly obliged to Aman Imran. I have brought top mats from Badminton Asia which amounts to Rs 4 million. These brand new mats will be used during the four-day mega championship. Besides international massive participation, 30 Pakistani players will also get a chance to showcase their skills and try to win title for the country. They can benefit from the event, as they can earn valuable international ranking points,” he added.

Wajid said, “Despite the present situation of the federal capital, as JUI-F sit-in is going on for the last few days, I am totally relaxed. The international players have started arriving in Islamabad. Already American player has landed last night, while rest will start arriving soon. The hotels, transport, meal, everything is well-managed. I am personally thankful to the IPC minister as she has not only promised to help the federation financially, but also provided free of cost accommodation to the local players, which is indeed a huge help keeping in mind highly tight financial situation of the federation.”

Wajid, who was Pakistan number 1 badminton player for 8 years and also represented Pakistan in 90 international events, said: “I assure Minister that it will be a turning point in Pakistan badminton for the local players as far as international events are concerned, I am fully focused and I am grateful to Islamabad Badminton Association President Pervez Butt and Punjab Badminton Association Secretary Tayyab Sohail, as without these two gentlemen, I would have never been able to even think about conducting the event in Islamabad.”

The PBF chief said the International Series Tournament is also the launching pad for the upcoming South Asian Games. “We also selected five male and as many female players, who will represent the country in the upcoming SAG in Nepal. The trials were held on Monday and will be completed by late Monday night. Top 8 singles and top four doubles players were invited for the trials to select Pakistani contingent.”

Wajid further said, “We are hopeful that the IPC minister, as per promise, will soon release Rs 1.5 million, she had allocated as cash prize of the tournament, while the total cost of the tournament is around Rs 4 million. Majority of the funds I had managed from Badminton Asia and title sponsors Yonex. It is not about how much expenditures and the event will eventually cost to the federation, it is all about the prestige of the country. I am spending the whole money from my personal pocket just for the sheer love of badminton.

“I am a businessman and have been doing business in four countries, which include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yeman and also in Pakistan. I am spreading education to the generation next and also want them to practically involve in sports. It is the third international tournament in Pakistan during my tenure. Only last year due to death of my father, I could not host the tournament. I want to inform badminton family that next year in March, Under-15, U17 and U-19 major Badminton Asia events are allocated to Pakistan, which will be held in Islamabad.

“It is a huge breakthrough, in which around 25 international countries will send their junior players. I want to contribute as much as I can, while I hope the IPC minister will continue to provide us support. I don’t need cash nor personal favours, but I just want my country’s name to be given full respect,” Wajid concluded.