Imran Khan`s party to launch cricket talent-hunt programme

Islamabad: Former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan`s PTI party is set to boost the troubled region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) with a cricket talent-hunt programme.

According to the Daily Times, the PTI-ruled region has produced some of Pakistan`s best-known players, including Younus Khan and Umar Gul, although the supply has dried up of late for which the initiative holds importance, given that the region has suffered for decades due to the problems in Afghanistan, with which it shares a border.

Admitting that terrorism has been very destructive for sports, PTI`s coordinator of sports and culture Iftikhar Elahi said that they are aiming at sports activities to end terrorism in the province, adding that the programme is aimed at spotting talent in cricket from the KPK province.

According to Elahi, Khan has taken the initiative as part of his development programmes in the KPK, adding that the party has also hired a few former players as coaches and will put advertisement in newspapers to invite the budding talent.

According to the report, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has classified KPK into two regions - Abbottabad and Peshawar, which are clustered with seven and five other districts respectively, adding that apart from the two cities, the region lacks basic cricketing infrastructure

Admitting that there is a dearth of cricket grounds at Peshawar, Elahi said that the PTI has discussed with the government to help them build and renovate grounds, adding that they are also in talks with some international companies to raise funds through sponsorships.

Although he welcomed the new talent search initiative, but the president of the Peshawar Cricket Association Wasel Durrani remained skeptical about the future, saying that the initiative will go in vain, adding that people in the system should be honest to make a difference.