KARACHI: Pakistan’s 18-member squad captain Tariq Pervez lauded the team’s recent performance in Penang, but believed their skills would be tested at the highly competitive 28th Thailand International Crossword Game King’s Cup 2013 starting in Bangkok today.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Inayatullah clinched the Division II title at the Penang International Scrabble Championship in Malaysia, while four others made a top 10 finish at the 50-player event. National champion Waseem Khatri secured sixth place in the elite master’s category.
According to Pervez – who finished 10th in Penang – the King’s Cup would be a lot tougher compared to the tournament in Malaysia.
He added that the country’s best hope will be Khatri in the $10,000 tournament, which will see 29 rounds being contested over four days. The Pakistan squad will also feature 16-year-old Moizullah Baig, Javeria Mirza and 12-year-old Abduallah Abbasi, who will hope to use the event as a learning experience.
The tournament even offers 50 Baht to players for winning each game.
“We did well in Penang, but the King’s Cup is highly competitive,” Pervez told The Express Tribune. “However, the players will look forward to giving their best in Thailand too. For many youngsters in the team, this is their first international tour.
“We are also excited to see how well these players manage to carry themselves in the tournament while fasting. I don’t think it will affect their performance though, since all of them are young and energetic.”
Meanwhile, Khatri, who had been on a break from international tournaments, said he was under pressure to perform after expectations rose due to his triumph in Malaysia.
“Thailand is the home of professional scrabble, and this time too we will have top players from all over the world,” said Khatri. “I’m a little nervous but hoping to do well in Thailand.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.
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