New book ‘Pakistan Sports and Heroes’ launched in presence of galaxy of sports stars
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The book launching ceremony of senior sports journalists Muhammad Ali was held at a local hotel Tuesday in the presence of a galaxy of sports stars.
The book with the title “Pakistan Sports and Heroes” describes the history of Pakistan sports and its shining stars, who earned laurels for the country in different eras and different sports. It is, in fact, a magnum opus covering almost all the sports and their heroes with their feats and achievements in their respective fields.
Former ICC president and Test captain Zaheer Abbas, POA president Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hassan, Pakistan’s 1968 Olympics Hockey Gold winning captain Dr Tariq Aziz, Former Olympian, hockey legend and Pakistan’s 1982 World Cup-winning captain Akhtar Rasool Ch, Pakistan tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and senior journalist and former editor of Daily Times Rashid Rahman were guests of honours. There were also many sports heroes and organisers present on the occasion and Manzoor Junior, Shafqat Rana, Farjad Saif, Lahore Qalandar’s CEO Atif Rana, Col (R) Mudassar, Salman Butt and Muhammad Yousaf were among the galaxy of sports superstars who also attended the ceremony. A large number of sports journalists and sports lovers were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, former Pakistan captain and Asian Bradman Zaheer Abbas paid rich tribute to sports journalist Muhammad Ali and lauded his rich work, which is, in fact, a book where one can find the history of Pakistan sports and its heroes.
“Muhammad Ali has a great passion for sports that helped him give coverage to all the sports during his 30-year journey and also compelled him to write such a masterpiece.”
He also urged the government to take care of the financial needs of the sportspersons by giving them jobs instead of depriving them of job opportunities and restoring the departmental quota of jobs for the sportsman.
“It would cost you only 1500 or 2000 jobs but it would not only boost the sports culture in the country but also help to develop a better society as sportsmen’s families could enjoy a respectable life and they can educate their children and raise them as a responsible citizen of the country,” he added.
Pakistan Olympic Association president Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan while praising the efforts of Ali termed the book a unique effort to attract the new generation towards the sports. He said Pakistan has a rich sporting history and the book has brought the limelight on the unsung heroes of Pakistan sports as well who had been rarely mentioned in present days.
Hockey legend and former captain Dr Tariq Aziz paid rich tribute to Muhammad Ali and termed his book as a masterpiece as far as coverage of Pakistan sports and sportsmen are concerned.
“Each and every sport has been covered very well in the book and it is a must-read for every sportsman, sports lover and true patriot. I congratulate Muhammad Ali on his wonderful writing and hope that he will keep on writing such magnum opus.”
Former Olympian and hockey legend Akhtar Rasool Ch said: “The golden era of hockey has been covered by Muhammad Ali well and this book has also filled with such remarkable memories, Pakistan hockey and its players love to recall. Now there is a dire need for our players to be extraordinary in their sports and try to conquer the world once again through their hard work and extra efforts.”
He said the players needed to learn from the greats of the respective sports and the organisers needed to keep the former greats in the loop in advisory roles so that the sports can flourish in the country.
He also stressed the need for reviving the sports culture in schools and educational institutes as they always proved nurseries for nurturing the budding talent.
Pakistan tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi also lauded the services of the senior sports journalist saying throughout his journalistic career, Muhammad Ali always gave good space to all the sports and especially tennis. “I am glad that Mr Muhammad Ali has added the tennis chapter as well in his book and portrayed me as a tennis legend as well as my career and achievement for my beloved country.”
He said he is feeling goosebumps by being named in the same breath as the other sports legends who were his childhood inspiration and he was used to hanging their posters in his room. He said the mention of him in the book has given him extra motivation and he would try his best to continue winning more laurels for the country.
Senior journalist Rashid Rahman also praised Ali for his effort and said the last chapter that shed light on the rise, debacle and mismanagement of the sports in Pakistan is a real eye-opener and the sports organisers of the country should read that to learn about their mistakes and bring the sports glory back to Pakistan.
He said he was truly impressed by the portrayal of athlete Muhammad Khaliq who was a compatriot of India’s Milkha Singh and won many laurels for the country.
In the end, host of the ceremony and author Muhammad Ali thanked all the guests for gracing the ceremony with their presence. He said it took him five years to compile the sporting history of Pakistan and it was an attempt to make the younger generation and sports enthusiasts familiar with the sporting culture of the country and encourage them to take on the sporting field by getting inspired through the success stories of different legends in all kind of sports.
He also presented his books to the guest of honours.