LAHORE: The Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB) has honoured all 27 members of the national team by awarding each player a cash prize of Rs50,000 for playing in the World Cup Classic baseball qualifying round in New York last September. PFB chairman Shaukat Javed while handing over cheques to the player s at a ceremony held here the other day said though Pakistan failed to win any match in New York, it was their great achievement to qualifying for such events and deserved honour and appreciation. Shaukat said the main reason of not winning any match in New York was that Pakistan players were of amateur level while their rivals in England and Brazil were playing with all professional players. He said now the Pakistan team had to participate in a very important event of the Asia Cup this year in Taiwan, which would also be the qualifier for Olympics 2020 to be held in Japan. He said hopefully four countries from Asia would qualify for the Olympics and Pakistan being fifth in the region would try their best to earn a place in the Olympics.
“The problem is that among world’s top six teams four are from Asia Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China. So we usually face tough competition at the regional level,” he said. “To field a strong team in the Asia Cup, the PFB has hired the services of four coaches from the USA to impart training to the Pakistan team for two months,” Shauakt said. “The decision of inviting coaches from the US has been taken in order to help the team enter into the Asia Cup.” He said the country had enough talent in baseball, adding six players from Kurram Agency were selected in the Pakistan Under-12 team that recently toured China for the World Cup. But, he said, three of them had to be dropped because they had no B-Form or Pakistan passport. Meanwhile, PBF president Khawar Shah said names of the foreign coaches were being finalised which would be announced after deciding all terms and conditions with them.