ISLAMABAD (January 9, 2020):-Ijaz-ur-Rehman is the top national bowling player and he has represented Pakistan in the various international bowling events and raised up the green flag in the international bowling arenas among the other top nations of the world. He is also secretary, Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF). Editor Sports Bulletin (www.sports-bullentin.com) interviewed him other day at Leisure Bowling Club Jinnah Park Rawalpindi that presents to the viewers.
Sports Bulletin:-What is the future of bowling in Pakistan and what is doing Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF) to promote this game across the country?
Ijaz-ur-Rehman:-Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF) is trying all best and making hectic efforts to promote the game at grass root level and proving maximum opportunities to budding players at lower level to excel at national and international level. Now, at this time bowling situation in our country becomes better than before and the standard is increasing day by day. New clubs have been established in other cities, as earlier only Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar had international standard facilities. Even, at the starting we did not have any platform to organize national championship but now, PTBF is able to hosts international event in the all major cities. We have 12 lines bowling alley at Jinnah Park Rawalpindi. We have talented and top ranking players from Karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad, who have played at international level and these are also known as World’s Professional players.
Sports Bulletin:-What will be your next steps to introduce the bowling sports in other cities of Pakistan after the promoting in the top cities?
Ijaz-ur-Rehman:-In Faisalabad already two bowling clubs have been built and in Multan one club is ready to start for construction. In other cities like Sialkot and Lahore bowling clubs have been built. No the platform is given to us from the government until, even we have given proposals to high-ups and the committee had ordered to allot a plot in the premises of Pakistan Sports Complex to build an international standard bowling facility. Nobody implemented on that orders. I am a player and also running the bowling federation and no one can promote this game better than me. During the ongoing government, all sports including national game hockey, snooker, and even bowling are neglecting except cricket. No funds have been given, no availability of coaches and other essential facilities for the top national players to compete at world level. Around three years back, I had submitted a letter to Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for an international qualified coach but I am still waiting for any response.
Sports Bulletin:-In which International events Pakistani players have participated and in next two years does Pakistan can be able to play in South Asian Games that will be taken place in Pakistan in which countries like Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh will also participate?
Ijaz-ur-Rehman:-Recently India has participated in Asian Games and an Indian bowler won the gold medal. Indian players have qualified mentors and most importantly their government supports them a lot whereas we have no support, we are struggling by own self. Recently Pakistan has participated in the Asian Bowling Series and we have obtained an excellent average. Our players are performing well without any coach and fund and highlighting the soft image of the country in all over the world. I demand to the government that kindly allot piece of land in the capital city for bowling alley.
Players are struggling and fighting like soldiers and win the medals but the question comes in minds here for what time we can struggle to flourish the name of country anymore without funds and coaches. We have performed in World Cup four times and also raised the flag of the beloved Pakistan among the 137 countries of the world. I am requesting to the government for support, we can invite 120 countries players to play in Pakistan and also organize World Cup but support is the first requirement. As in our country, the cricket game has only complete support of the government and has also huge sponsorship while rest of all sports are on ventilator.
Sports Bulletin:-If we add the game of bowling in the next South Asian Games, can our bowler capable to win gold medals?
Ijaz-ur-Rehman:-Yes, we have talented bowlers and I was also a run up in international fixtures in abrod but we need facilities to train the players according to international standard demand. Our players have performed in different events, so it is not tough. I am a professional of this game and I think if government will support us so that we can win not even in the South Asian Game but also at Asian and world level competitions.
Sports Bulletin:-Which type of support do you expect from the government, coaching or infrastructure?
Ijaz-ur-Rehman:-First of all PTBF should be allotted a piece of land for bowling arena, which was approved by Executive Committee. So, we can build an infrastructure for international competitions. We can organize international events after every three months and tourism will also increase and country positive image will flourish.
Sports Bulletin:-What do you think what are the major hurdles on this way?
Ijaz-ur-Rehman:-I have met with Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Secretary and Minister about these issues but the persons who are seated in Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) there is a lobby and they do not want that there should be a system like that here. Although in past Director General (DG) of the board had ordered to give a piece of land to PTBF to build an international standard bowling arena, unfortunate the file has been tighten with red tape. Anyhow, the thing is this that our yearly fund for sports is one billion rupees which is not distributing equally among the national sports federations. There are many faults and flaws in our system and I raised all these issues with high-ups of relating offices but results are still zero. Except couple of sports all other sports and players are being neglected at all level. There is no value and worth of sportspersons even national game hockey and traditional sports boxing have not respect and value in our countries. So, if such type of behavior that will be shown by public and government officials then how can we enhance the standard of sports in the Pakistan?
Sports Bulletin:-Did you ask to top officials of Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) about any support and what was their response?
Ijaz-ur-Rehman:-POA is just a political game and there is no any kind of merit in their system. There is only one man show in POA, an Army (Retd) General is there for 16 years and they are just awarding to their own people. Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) both are not supporting us and I do not know about the government. I am simply requesting to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also a sports man he should look all the sports issues and streamline them to promote the standard of games in the country.