Pathan boys on a role!
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have made it through to Pakistan’s primary first class cricket tournament. FATA is a rural area of Pakistan. It was only officially recognized as an official region by the PCB in 2013. Hence, their qualification proved to be very important.
FATA won all three of their qualifying matches in some style. In the first match, they thrashed Abbotabad by 9 wickets. In the second game, Faisalabad were totally dismantled at the hands of FATA after being handed a 10 wicket loss. In their final qualifying game, FATA defeated the Karachi Blues by a staggering 80 runs to make an emphatic entry into the Quaid-e-Azam trophy.
Recently, the PCB revised the format of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy. Before this year, the tournament comprised of 26 teams. That number has now been cut down to 16 teams, out of which 8 would be regional and the remaining 8 departmental. 6 regional and 6 departmental sides, given their performances in the previous season, gain automatic qualification into the competition. The remaining 4 slots are filled via a qualifying round. The qualifying round comprises of 2 regional and 2 departmental teams. FATA made it through this round. Joining them would be the Lahore blues.
According to PCB chairman Shahryar Khan, FATA is producing some outstanding talent in cricket.
“FATA’s promotion to Grade I showed it was producing some splendid players and that reflected in their performances with both bat and ball. FATA’s defeating Abbottabad, Faisalabad and now Karachi so convincingly is reflective of talent as well as the hard work of the players, coaching staff and management of the region. On our first circuit, the FATA Region’s cricketers would get greater opportunities to express themselves while playing against the more accomplished outfits on our domestic circuit.”