ISLAMABAD - Basketball was fast gaining popularity among the kids and this particular sport was attracting few sponsors too, as the previous management of Pakistan Basketball Federation (PBF), despite limited resources and meager annual grant form Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), had successfully arranged a number of championships.
Ever since the change of management in the Federation, the holding of championships suddenly disappears as only one national championship has been organised so far this year in Peshawar. Not a single junior male and female championship is organised so far and players and teams are sitting idle as the federation is busy somewhere else.
It is pertinent to mention here that when PBF was receiving only Rs500,000 annual grant from the PSB during the previous management’s tenure but they managed to organise four national championships including men's juniors and inter-departmental events. But after a raise of more than 100 percent in the annual grant, PBF led by Asif Bajwa failed miserably in even organising same number of events, which past management had done.
The only international appearance of national basketball team is participating in the South Asian Games in Bangladesh where Pakistan finished runners-up. Since winning the elections in November 2010, this performance is by no means anywhere closer to what they had promised after taking over the reins of the federation.
Inside sources in the federation had confirmed to this correspondent that soon after taking over the president slot, Bajwa had tried to work with devotion and uplift of the basketball in the country, but since he was not in cordial relationship with PBF secretary Col (R) Naseem Butt, who is not ready to perform the role expected from the custodian of the house.
Bajwa had earlier performed the duties of interim president of Pakistan Olympic Association. Instead of taking that responsibility he should have worked for the federation he runs, as it is his prime responsibility to look after the basketball players, who are taking giant strides and had the potential to win laurels for the country at international level. They just need federation's backing and international exposure to achieve that task.
If Bajwa and Col Naseem don't have time and are busy somewhere else then they should have pity on the basketball and above all players and let someone else, who had time and passion for this beautiful game, to run the affairs, which would be in great beneficial to players and country. They had already wasted more than three years and any further delays would spell further disaster for the game and players.