Aug 23, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on SPORTS DIARY: Japanese coach grooms baseball team (Dawn (Pakistan))
A Japanese baseball coach is in Lahore, imparting training to the Pakistani baseball team, which will participate in the six top nation Asian Championships being held in Taiwan from Sept 16 to 20.
Toma Irokawa is a qualified coach, who is also running his own baseball club in Japan. In a chat with reporters, Irokawa said the Pakistani players were very talented and he was surprised to see the fitness of the players. He says though cricket is a very popular game in Pakistan, the physique and the potential of the Pakistani players could make them a world class baseball team.
Irokawa says his club in Japan has the honour of producing four to five players for the junior ranked team of the country. He says Japan is No 1 in Asia in baseball with around 60,000 players at the junior level. Among such a heavy number, his club has contribution at the national level in the junior section.
Irokawa will continue coaching till Sept 14. Then he with the Pakistan team will fly to Taiwan. Besides Pakistan and the host Taiwan, other countries participating in the Asian event are: Japan, South Korea, China and Indonesia. Irokawa says he is confident of beating China in the Asian Championships. He says Pakistan has the potential to beat China to improve its Asian ranking from the 6th position to 5th.
Irokawa says he is enjoying his stay in Lahore. Though there is humidity in the air yet it is an ideal weather for a tough training. He says Lahore is a beautiful city and the people are very much friendly.
Pakistan’s national women tennis champion Ushna Suhail is earning laurels in Egypt as she has played a consecutive third semi-final of the ITF Women Professional Tennis Championships’ doubles event there.
Though the political relationship between India and Pakistan are not exemplary, Ushna with her Indian partner Rushmi Chakravarthi entered the third semifinal, where they lost to top seed of the tournament Sowjana Bavisetti and Rishika Sunkara, an Indian pair. Ushna like her cousin, Aisamul Haq also made an Indian partner. Aisam with Indian Rohan Bopana has also earned many victories at the international level.
Ushna belongs to a very famous tennis family of Lahore. Her grandfather, Khawaja Iftikhar, was an All-India tennis champion. Ushna is the first Pakistani girl playing a pro event of the ITF.
The last week, the Lahore City Cricket Association (LCCA) has included tainted Pakistan Test opener Salman Butt in its Blues team to take part in the National T20 Cup qualifying round, starting in Rawalpindi from Sept 1.
The same day, the PCB snubbed the LCCA, saying Salman Butt has yet to be fully cleared from the ban, imposed by the ICC in a spot-fixing case. The ICC lifted the ban after five years last week, but the PCB wants to seek some clarification from the ICC on the issue. Salman, with two other teammates Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir, was banned for their role in a spot-fixing case occurred in a Test match against England. The trio faced the charges after an English tabloid, in a sting operation, disclosed that they had made a plan to deliberately send down no balls. Not only Salman, Asif was also included in the Lahore Blues team.
The PCB has asked the LCCA to just wait for a final clearance of both Salman and Asif. It was a soft gesture by the LCCA to give Asif a place in its team, otherwise, the bowler is to play for the Sialkot Region.
Agrand gala of swimming of the All-Pakistan 10th Inter-school Age Group Championship was held at the Punjab University’s New Campus pool last week.
The competitions were held in Under-8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 age groups and in the open age group. Around 200 swimmers from all over the country took part in it, national swimming coach and chief organiser Hafeez Bhatti said. A good response received for the gala showed the youth love this sport.