Yesteryears stars honoured

Abdul Mohi Shah
Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

ISLAMABAD: A rare gesture of honouring sports superstars of yesteryears was on display recently when former national and international athletes were hosted at the Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) Sports Directorate.

Among those honoured was former international volleyball player Akram Qureshi who represented Pakistan for years, touring no less than ten countries as a national player and a qualified coach from Japan.

Former Pakistan basketball captain Ehsanullah Marwat was a silver medalist of SAF Games. Nusrat Khan remained national champion for almost a decade and represented Pakistan in two Asian Games.

Mohammad Jamil was former Asian Junior Squash champion — 1989, Hong Kong — and Malaysian Open Champion — 1989-90.

Amin Qureshi was Pakistan volleyball captain 1975-76 and is an Olympic Level I Coach,

There were also Shaharyar (cricket administrator), Maqbool Ahmad (national athlete), Lala Nazir (former POA basketball team captain and coach), Abdul Sattar (former coach POF football team), Liaquat Butt (former player and coach Punjab Kabaddi team), Mohammad Iqbal (former national athlete who won seven gold medals in National Athletics), Rana Liaquat Ali (former national badminton player), Khalid Bhatti (former national table tennis player), Zafar Ali (former footballer who represented Pakistan at South Asian Games), and Ulfat Hussain (former international football player).

“We never had thought of receiving such an honour after retirement. Usually when you pass your prime no one remembers you,” Nusrat Khan, former cycling champion, said. “I am thankful to POF Sports Board for this get-together,” he added.

Ehsanullah Marwat said, “Nations who remember their heroes always progress. I am really obliged to see that all our former national and international athletes living within the POF Wah premises were honoured.”

Mohammad Taufeeq, Director Sports, said it had always been his dream to honour those who excelled in sports at the national and international levels.

“This get-together will make them realise that their achievements and services for sports in the country will be remembered,” he said.

Chief guest Brig (rtd) Arif Siddiqui, former Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), said these athletes had made their respective departments and nation proud. “We cannot forget their services and their contribution to Pakistan sports.”