National open championship

LAHORE: Three matches will be played on the opening day of the high-goal National Open Polo Championship 2016 for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup here at the Lahore Polo Club (LPC) ground on Wednesday.

In the first match of the day, Diamond Paints will play against Master Paints/Habib Metro at 12:30pm, Master Paints and Army Remounts will vie in the second match at 2pm while in the third and last match of the day, Sabeeha Anees will take on Learning Alliance at 3:30pm.

Lahore Polo Club secretary Col. (r) Shoaib Aftab said on Tuesday that all the arrangements had been completed to hold the most prestigious tournament of Pakistan polo season in a befitting manner.

“On match days, three matches will be played daily, while total 17 matches will be contested throughout the two-week high-goal polo tournament, out of which 15 will be league matches while on the last day of the tournament (March 13), the subsidiary and main finals will be contested,” he said.

“Highly-competitive polo matches will be witnessed during the entire event which will provide the polo enthusiasts opportunity to enjoy the beauty of game and cheer for their favourite teams,” the LPC secretary added.

English umpires Howard Smith and Ben Turner will supervise all the matches of the National Open Polo Championship.

Meanwhile, captains of all the participating vowed to perform well during the prestigious event and to try their best to win the coveted trophy.

Master Paints team owner and player Sufi Farooq termed his team combination and form of players and horses exceptional saying they are eager to earn title victory for Master Paints. “The title win in the past Punjab Polo Cup boosted our morale and we are also hopeful of performing well in the National Open and put our all efforts to win this title as well.”

Diamond Paints owner and player Mir Shoaib has said that his team has played tremendously in the ongoing polo season. “Our team combination and horses are good enough to defend National Open title.”

Army Remounts captain Major General Isfandiyar Pataudi, who is also Pakistan Polo Association (PPA) chairman, said: “We have played Punjab Polo Cup final and finished as runners-up. Our players are in good form and we are now aiming at clinching National Open trophy.”