Sixth Shaheed Benazir Bhutto National Ranking Tennis C’ship starts from 11th
Chairman Tournament organising committee Senator Taj Haider.
While talking exclusively to this correspondent on Wednesday, Chairman Tournament organising committee Senator Taj Haider informed that Sindh government is sponsoring the tournament, which is named after former prime minister Shaheed Benazir Bhutto:
“A total of Rs2.7m will be spent on the event, which will start with qualifying round matches starting from 11th, while main round will start from 14th. A total of Rs one million cash prize will be distributed in different categories, which include men’s singles, men’s doubles, ladies singles, physically challenged category, media category, girls U-14 is added this time around, while boys u-18, boys and girls U-12, doubles 60+ and doubles 45+.”
Iranian ITF Silver Badge referee Adel Borghei, will be the supervisor of the tournament, while ITF White Badge referee Shahzad Alvi is the tournament referee, former Pakistan Davis Cup team coach, Fazle Subhan is the director of the tournament.
Senator Taj further added: “We are highly satisfied that we had already received around 200 eateries in different categories and we are expecting that the number will reach to more than 200 by the closing of the entry date.”
He said the basic aim of the championship is to promote tennis and present the soft and sports-loving image of Pakistan.
He said due to corona pandemic they were unable to invite international players as they did in the third and fourth editions, but they are highly optimistic that next year things will be much better.
“Like I said, till I am alive, we will continue to arrange a tournament in the name of our great leader. I am personally thankful to Pakistan Tennis Federation and especially Fazle Subhan, who puts in a lot of effort and all the previous editions of the championship were a massive success. We will give TA/DA according to the PTF rules.”
He said the opening ceremony will be held on the 14th and they are expecting PPP Co-Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to grace the occasion.
“If he is unable to attend the inaugural ceremony, we will try to ensure at least Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah be present at the occasion. In that case, we will ensure Bilawal Bhutto Zardari either grace the closing ceremony or visit the venue in between.”
“ITF is one of the best venues and all the past editions had been played at the very same venue that attracted massive participation. The tennis courts are in tremendous shape, while ITF Level-III coach Kamran Khalil will look after the day-to-day affairs.”
He also thanked sports journalists for giving wonderful coverage to the events in the past and hoped that this time too, they will give the best space to the event.
He said without media’s help, sports can’t flourish in the country and during these hard times when life is at standstill due to coronavirus, he was highly thankful to CM Sindh and government of Sindh for releasing the amount so that they can conduct the event.
While sharing his views Fazle Subhan thanked Senator Taj Haider, CM Sindh, the government of Sindh and PTF and promised to conduct the event in a highly disciplined manner.
He also promised to provide accommodation to outstation players and informed that all the leading players of the country, including Aqeel Khan, will be seen in action, while top female players had also confirmed their entries.
He hoped that like past editions, this tournament will be a huge success.
Subhan also thanked sports journalist for giving outstanding coverage to events.
He further said the basic aim of inviting Iranian Silver Badge referee to Pakistan is to show that Pakistan is completely safe for holding all kinds of sporting activities and he was here twice before too and his presence will help Pakistan tennis a great deal.