LAHORE - The World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) has agreed to send qualified coaches to Pakistan to supplement the ongoing efforts of Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB) for further development of the game at all levels.
"Top officials of the WBSC have assured their all-out cooperation to develop the game on modern lines in Pakistan,” said Punjab Baseball Association (PBBA) chairman Moazzam Ali Khan here on Thursday after his return from Tunisia after attending the world congress of the WBSC held at Hamammet. The congress was held on the merger of the world baseball and softball bodies which have unified at one platform on the observation of International Olympic Committee (IOC) so that baseball and softball could be a part of disciplines to be contested during 2020 Olympics.
Office-bearers of the WBSC were also elected for a next term of six years and Moazzam voted in favour of Canadian Riccardo Fraccari who was elected as the president while Malaysian Beng Choo Low was elected as secretary. Moazzam said on the sidelines of the congress, he had a very productive meeting with the newly-elected president Riccardo whom he gave a detailed briefing on Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB) and its activities for the popularization of the game. "Knowing our world number 21st and fifth in Asia, the world president was very impressed knowing the fact that we don't have an exclusive baseball ground in the entire country and organising baseball activities at football and other grounds,” he said.
He said the WBSC president gave an overwhelming response to Pakistan's request of providing experienced coaches and also promised to provide assistance in other technical matters related to the game. He added that he also conveyed the messages of PFB president Shoukat Javed and secretary Syed Khawar Khan to the WBSC president who expressed his delight on the progress being achieved in the overall development of the game in Pakistan.
He said he had various meetings with the officials of Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq and other baseball federations who acknowledged that baseball was gaining rapid popularity among the youth of Pakistan due to which it had achieved impressive rankings at world and Asia level.
"The Sri Lankan officials proposed us to include more teams in the West Asia Baseball Championship whose winner is Pakistan. They urged that instead of making it a four-nation tournament, it should be a six-nation event so that two teams could qualify for the Asian Games." He said he has prepared his report and recommended a number of steps in the light of his meetings with the officials of various baseball federations so that more efforts should be made to promote baseball in Pakistan. "I will be submitting my report to PFB in a couple of days.”