ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Table Tennis Federation (PTTF) will mark World Table Tennis Day in a befitting manner and conduct the World Table Tennis Day Masters Cup Tournament here in Islamabad as well as in Karachi and Peshawar today (Monday).

In all, 32 top male and 16 top female players from across the country will participate in the event and will be given handsome cash prizes along with medals and certificates. The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) will provide boarding/lodging, while OGDCL is the title sponsors.

Talking to The Nation, Shahid Baloch, chief organiser and PTTF convener, said: “The event is announced on special directions of World Table Tennis Federation (WTTF). Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada will grace the occasion as chief guest. All the provinces and departments affiliated with the PTTF will be seen in action during the mega event. We will also conduct refresher course for 10 umpires and head of umpires Saleem Ahmed and chief coordinator Hasan Wadood will conduct the course.”

He said: “The event will not only provide top male and female players an opportunity to showcase their skills but also help them prepare for the mega Asian Championship, which is round the corner.

I have planned to bid for the mega event to be conducted in Pakistan while India, China and others are also in the hunt to get the hosting rights, but we will try our level best to ensure the vent may take place in Pakistan.

It will provide us a chance to not only witness local players but also international players playing in front of them. I am sure if we successfully first manage to win the bid and then conduct the event in Pakistan, it will open floodgates of international sports and help in reviving international sports in the country.”

“I am working day and night in this regard. I have met with different people across the country and it will be a grand event for which we need sufficient amount of funds. I am very grateful to IPC minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and IPC secretary Ejaz Chaudhry, Pakistan Sports Board Director General Technical and Training Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, assistant director hostels Malik Imtiaz Hussain,” he added.

“The players have already started reaching Islamabad and we are expecting around 100players and officials to turn up for the event.

Excellent facilities will be provided to them and I am sure just like in the past when we conducted international table tennis event some four months back in Islamabad, in which players from India, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka along with locals participated, we will conduct the event in befitting manner which will help us in fulfilling our ambition of getting the rights of hosting Asian Table Tennis Championship,” Shahid concluded.