LAHORE-Pakistan Railways Sports Board (PRSB) vice president Dr Farhan Ebadat Khan has said that Railways sports, which remained at the mainstream over the years, have started its revival.

Former Test cricketers Younus Khan, Mohammad Yousaf, Nazir Junior, Arshad Khan, Arif Butt, Ejaz Butt - all belonged to Railways who played Test cricket for Pakistan, while many of Railways athletes also have honour of winning a number national and international medals.

Talking to The Nation, Dr Farhan said: “Railways once used to be a nursery of sports which used to provide a great number of players to Pakistan, who proved their mettle at national and international level and won laurels for the country. We are now keen to fill that gap, as the Railways players have once again started producing results and earning glories for their department as well as motherland.”

The PRSB vice president said Railways teams have been competing in 26 games for last three years and they have excelling in many of them. “Two of Railways girls won gold medals in the recently-concluded Asia-Oceana Powerlifting Championship while five boys were picked up in the junior hockey team and six female players were part of the national women hockey team. Moreover, our female hockey team was runner-up in National Women Hockey Championship while our players were also picked up in the national Under-19 team for U-19 World Cup.”

He said although Railways boys took part in the Patrons Trophy tournament matches and displayed quality cricket yet he lamented that 13 dubious decisions were taken against their team due to worst umpiring by PCB panel umpires, who deprived them of winning two crucial matches against Ghani Glass and Brighto Paints.

“We have written to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about the entire episode happened during the Patrons Trophy matches, and the board very kindly listened to us and address our grievances, for which are we are grateful to them and hope they will surely try to improve standard of umpiring during domestic cricket,” he added.

Dr Farhan said they have started improving Railways’ sports infrastructure nationwide. “In the first phase, we have improved our infrastructure in Lahore. Railway Stadium Ghari Shahu is now presenting a new look and also hosting Patrons Trophy matches. But we are in talks with the PCB to host Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches here.

“In Mughalpura, we are also revamping hockey, football and cricket grounds. At hockey ground Mughalpura, which once hosted international teams for practice purposes for a mega hockey event, we are going to lay astro-turf with the help of Punjab government. We have also plan to move to other cities after Lahore, as the better infrastructure will ensure better results from our players,” he added.

Dr Farhan said the increase of PRSB budget and its proper utilization also the players deliver. “In 2014, we had budget of Rs 8.5 million, which has now increased to Rs 35 million. We are spending it purely on the players in order to motivate them to perform well at national and international level.

“We have been providing the best facilities to the players to prepare them well for big challenges. We have raised their stipends and also enhanced their rewards for winning medals at international level, as we will give gold medalists Rs 50,000, silver medalists Rs 30,000 and bronze medalists Rs 20,000.

“We are taking every step to improve the performances of our players so that Railways may once again start producing the best results at highest level and win glories for the country globally. In fact, we are geared up to revive Railways golden era in sports,” he concluded.



PRSB Vice President

Dr Farhan Ebadat Khan