By Rafiullah

SWAT, 23 November: The first Fazal Rehman Shaheed Memorial Cricket Championship got under way at Kabal ground in Swat on Sunday.

A fruit vendor, Shamsur Rehman opened the tournament by playing a shot. Swat Asia won the opening match of the championship. Swat Asia while batting first scored 90 runs in the allotted 14 overs. Pathan Fighters could score 84 runs and lost the match by six runs.

The tournament has been organised by Swat Taekwondo Academy in association with TNN correspondent Rafiullah Khan in the memory of TNN Senior Producer Fazal Rehman Mehsud who lost his life in a traffic accident on 23 September.

The local players appreciated the efforts of organisers for arranging the tournament. They said it is first time that a free tournament has been organised in the area in a disciplined manner.

“I am playing cricket in Sangota area since long but I have never seen a local tournament which has been organised with such great discipline. We often see MNAs and MPAs opening the tournaments. But here we have seen a common man opening the tournament which is a very encouraging sign,” a local sportsman told TNN. He said the common people are also important part of society and giving them opportunity to open such events will encourage them and will reassure them that they enjoy great honour and esteem in our society.

The fruit vendor, Shamsur Rehman, who opened the tournament, told TNN that it was first time that he got such an amazing opportunity for which he is extremely grateful to the organisers.

“I am a poor man but I got great esteem here. I will pray for their success,” he said.

Six teams from Mingora are participating in the tournament. The organisers are providing all sports equipment to the participating teams and no fee has been charged from them.