Polo issue resolved as legendary player finds place in team

CHITRAL: The tension prevailing in Chitral between the deputy commissioner and polo association regarding the selection of players and dropping of legendry player Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk from the team came to an end as Malakand Commissioner Riaz Khan Mahsud dashed to Chitral and resolved the issue amicably.

A source told Dawn that soon after his arrival, the commissioner convened the meeting of selection committee and entrusted the selection of the A and B teams of Chitral to them which had been denied by the deputy commissioner earlier.

The source said that the selection committee met for a short while and recommended the names of both the teams proposing changes only in the name of captains. While upholding the names of players announced earlier by the deputy commissioner, the committee recommended Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk as captain of A team and Ali Quli Khan as captain of B team.

“The commissioner instantly acquiesced to the proposed list of both the teams and ratified them accordingly. With it, the row between the deputy commissioner and polo association came to an end,” he said.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

Later on, the commissioner told a hurriedly called press conference that the three-day Shandur festival scheduled to commence from July 7 would be held with zeal and fervour.

He said that the prime minister and the army chief were also expected to visit Shandur that would add more colours to the festival being held at the highest polo ground of the world where local cultural traits would also be showcased.

Announcing the players of team A, the commissioner named Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk captain and Israr Wali, Shahzad Ahmed, Izhar Ali Khan, Mirajuddin and Feroze Ali members of A team while he named Ali Quli Khan captain and Ziaur Rahman, Raza Khan, Nasirullah Khan, Ishfaq Ahmed, Asghar Hussain and Maqsoodur Rahman members of B team.

He also announced to put in place a proper mechanism for the selection of players for Shandur festival in future and said that the general body of the polo players would elect an apex body and terms of reference would be devised for the selection process.

The commandant of Chitral Scouts, Col Moeenuddin and DPO Furqan Bilal were also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2019

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