ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF) secretary Ijaz Ur Rehman announced to conduct Pakistan Open Tenpin Bowling Championship from October 26 here at newly-constructed 12-lane Leisure Citi Bowling Club at Jinnah Park, Rawalpindi.

Talking to The Nation, Ijaz said: “The Pakistan Open Championship will carry huge prize money, while more than 500 bowlers form across the country will be in action. We will conduct professional singles, masters, doubles, trios, team event, doubles, deaf, sports journalists, ladies singles and for the first time U-16 category.”

He claimed that the PTBF is only federation in Pakistan, which is highly active, conducting series of national championships and also sending players abroad for international events and all is being done through personal efforts. The government should allocate annual grants on the basis of performances, rather than treating all with same stick.

“I have installed Rs 2.6 million highly-advanced oiling machine and invited Malaysian professionals to train our employees while world class Malaysian coach Amjed is hired by the federation to prepare our bowlers for international events, so that they may win glories for the country globally,” he added.

The PTBF official said the Asian Tenpin Bowling Federation (ATBF) has promised to allocate Asian School World Cup to Pakistan in 2019. “Although it is a good news for the country, but we face huge embarrassment due to unwanted delays in issuance of NOCs by Interior Ministry. We wrote letters two months prior to international events and even we returned home after participation, but still the ministry letters are pending. It is hoped that PM Imran Khan will address this core issue, or else, we will believe that sports is not government’s priority.”

He said Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) executive committee has sanctioned the proposal made by PTBF regarding setting up bowling alley at PSB premises in 2015, but after a lapse of three years, nothing on ground was done. “I spent millions of rupees from my personal pocket just for the passion of promoting bowling in Pakistan.

“The state-of-the-art Leisure Citi Bowling Club-II is constructed with millions of rupees. I wanted to construct 24-lane alley, which is a must to stand chances of holding Tenpin Bowling World Cup. In Thailand, I met with top officials, who assured their all-out support to PTBF in holding the mega world event in 2019.

“If IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza takes interest, I can still construct the bowling club at the PSB, which will not only help the PSB financially, but also help the country in attracting fresh bowlers and provide Pakistan with an opportunity to host world’s biggest Tenpin bowling events on earth,” he added.

Ijaz said the PSB takes ages to issue meager annual grants to even performing federations like PTBF and now for last several months, they are waiting for the grants. “We have spent from our own pockets to take part in Thailand International Tenpin Bowling event and all of us including Ali Suria, Sardar Ahmer Abbas Saldera, Afzal Akhtar and I performed well there and were appreciated by the top professional bowlers. If government lends a helping hand, I can assure that we can produce world class players and win international medals.”

The PTBF secretary said he had decided to convene all the affiliated federations meeting and discuss in detail the core issues being faced by them. “Now Imran Khan has taken over and he has appointed a task force which includes a representative each from the affiliated federations and it can resolve Pakistani athletes’ woes.

“Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) is being run by certain individuals, who have just one agenda to promote their blue-eyed persons, send them on joy-ride and get votes to keep on occupying POA top slots. Look what happened in Asian Games, despite sending 300 plus strong contingent, only three bronze medals were won by Pakistani athletes, which, I think, is a shame for millions of Pakistanis. The government must look into sorry state of affairs of POA and take the culprits to task,” Ijaz concluded.