ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF) secretary Ijaz-ur-Rehman has said that the federation is providing best possible assistance to the bowlers of the country despite of acute shortage of funds.

Talking to The Nation, Ijaz said: “People don't realise that how much difficulties we have been facing in promoting this game. Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) is the only source, which provides us financial assistance which is very meager. We didn't receive a single penny for the last two years, even then all these hazards didn’t prevent us from doing our national duty.”

“We have provided help to our junior team, which participated in the Youth World Cup in Hong Kong recently. Just because of lack of exposure and non-availability of coach and our own clubs, our kids suffered in the prestigious event. Although they didn't finish on podium, yet they learnt a lot from playing alongside the world's best junior bowlers,” he added.

“Sardar Ahmer Abbas and Ali Suria are the most promising juniors of the country. They had already shown their talent in different national events even in the senior level but they failed to lift the title in both singles and team events at the Youth World Cup,” he stated.

When asked a senior PSB official has confirmed that the youth bowling team didn't take NOC from the PSB before leaving to Hong Kong, Ijaz termed the allegation baseless and said: “The matter of the fact is that we have applied for our team’s NOC some two months back, but the PSB didn't bother to take action on our request. The players didn’t go for a joy ride rather they represented the country. It was the national anthem of Pakistan, which went on air, not the PTBF song. We have taken written permission of these players from Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) secretary Chaudhry Ejaz and the letter is very much available with me if somebody from the PSB wants to check it.”

“We had requested POA president Lt Gen (r) Arif Hasan to send bowling team to the Asian Games, but despite several requests, Gen Arif didn't even bother to reply to our requests. How is it possible to flourish a sport, when responsible persons are not taking the things seriously?” It is my humble request to IPC Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada to look into this matter and seek explanation from Gen Arif and others, who are depriving the country of winning laurels at international stage.