-Zalmi Madrassa Cricket League to help mainstream madaris youth, eradicate violent extremism
ISLAMABAD: In what could be dubbed a praise-worthy move, Pakistan’s first-ever Zalmi Madrassa Cricket League started on Tuesday at the Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium with the aim to mainstream the long-deprived Madaris youth, eradicate violent extremism and promote peace and tolerance in the society through sports.
The four-day unique initiative taken by the Peshawar Zalmi under the patronage of Zalmi Foundation Pakistan will continue until Aug 31.
A total of 12 teams comprising madrassa students belonging to different schools of thought are participating in the event. The teams taking part in the activity are Al-Haq Smashers, Al-Maqasid Fighters, Al-Hilal Challengers, Al-Wahda Hitters, Al-Noor All-rounders, Al-Khair Riders, Al-Mutahidoon Creative, Ittihad Peace Builders, Al-Fatah Record Sitters, Al-Nujoom Risers, Al-Qurra Stars and Al-Barq Thunders.
These teams have been imparted special training by the Zalmi Foundation at different cricket grounds in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.
The first match of the series was played between Al-Haq Smashers and Al-Maqasid Fighters at the Arbab Niaz Stadium on Tuesday. The final of the event will take place on August 31 at the same venue.
Hafiz Nauman Ahmed, media coordinator of Zalmi Madrassa Cricket League said that the main objective of the league is to promote interfaith harmony among madrassa students of different schools of thought and also provide them with an appropriate platform to showcase their sporting talent.
“Students of various madaris from across Pakistan are enthusiastically participating in the historic event,” he said.
“Zalmi Madrasa Cricket League will not only provide the youth with a proper platform for playing cricket but also help exchange of positive ideas and thoughts among different madrassa students and promote healthy dialogue. Our objective is to bring in new ways to promote interfaith harmony and Zalmi Madrasa Cricket League is the first step in this direction,” Hafiz Nauman said.
He revealed that after successful holding of the event in Peshawar, the initiative will be expanded to other parts of the country. He said more teams will be set up comprising students from religious seminaries across the country. He said in the next phase, the madrassa cricket league will be organised at the provincial level and then it will be extended to the national level.
Hafiz Nauman said the participation of test cricket fast bowler Muhammad Akram and spinner Mushtaq Ahmed besides a huge number of civil society members, notables, citizens and madrassa students in the event is a source of encouragement for the organisers.