Photos: At the 2014 London Mela for the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal

Last Sunday, members of the Stani Army including Mr Pakistan and the Sheikh of Pakistan, were at the London Mela in Gunnersbury Park raising funds for the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal (IKCA). This follows on from our IKCA fundraising challenge in June when we climbed to the summit of Mount Snowdon in full fancy dress, photos of which can be found here. We would like to thank everyone who attended the Mela and donated to this worthy cause, or simply just stopped by to have a friendly chat and a photo or two. You can view photos from the Mela below.

If you missed out on the Mela and still wish to donate, you can do so via the IKCA website, or via free phone on 0500 786 101. To find out more about where your donations will be going and the tireless work of the IKCA and everyone at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, please visit here.

Photos: SAICA dinner with Saeed Ajmal

We’re delighted to announce that last week’s fundraising dinner organised by the Stani Army for the Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy was a resounding success with thousands of pounds raised for this great cause. Below is a selection of photos from the night for our fans to view.

Saeed Ajmal was also joined on the night by England’s Moeen Ali, fresh from his brilliant unbeaten century at Headingley against Sri Lanka. Along with photos of the two cricket stars and the Stani Army members, fans can scroll down to view items auctioned off on the night for the academy, and photos of those who generously donated towards the cause.

We’d like to reserve a special thank you to Noorani Events for the event decor and Imax Photography for capturing the occasion.

Tickets on sale! Dinner with Saeed Ajmal

We’re delighted to announce that tickets for the fundraising dinner with Saeed Ajmal for the Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy (SAICA) have gone on sale. Fans will have a choice of purchasing a premium ticket or a standard ticket. The premium ticket guarantees you a seat on the same table as Saeed Ajmal, so if any fans are interested they should move fast as there are only a limited few available.

Purchase online (PayPal required):
Premium Ticket: £100 (Click to purchase)
Standard Ticket: £25 (Click to purchase)

Purchase from store:
Fans can also purchase tickets in person from Bull Ring phones, H8-H9, St Martins Rag Market, Edgbaston Street, Birmingham, B5 4RB.

Programme for the night:
– Presentation
– Buffet dinner (included in ticket price)
– Q&A session with Saeed Ajmal
– Auction of signed bats and balls
– Competition and prizes
– Photo opportunities

Time & date: 8pm Wednesday 25th June
Location: Rawal Village 142-144 Ladypool Road, Birmingham, B12 8JA

Proceeds from the night including ticket sales go towards SAICA so do purchase in confidence knowing that it is all for a good cause. Click here to learn more about the Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy.

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Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy Campaign

We are pleased to announce that later this month, Stani Army will be holding a fundraising dinner with Saeed Ajmal in Birmingham with the aim of raising awareness for his new academy, the Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy (SAICA). Details of the event will follow over the next week here on http://www.staniarmy.com, including how fans can purchase tickets for the dinner. As well as photo opportunities and autographs, fans will also get a chance to put their questions to Saeed on what is certain to be a fantastic evening.

In build up to the event, below is information and some photos regarding SAICA, how it came about, the work completed so far and what still needs to be done. We encourage our fans to take this opportunity to read up on this wonderful initiative.

Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy Awareness Campaign
In association with WWW.STANIARMY.COM & ACES MIDDLE EAST

Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan International cricket professional and one of the world’s leading bowlers felt the need to do something about the declining efforts in Pakistan over its craze of cricket and wanting to give back something to his country.

He realised that due to the political restrictions on International Cricket not being played in Pakistan it not only effected the countries economy it shattered the base root foundation of youngsters playing cricket on all levels. Cricket has been at its all time low. Saeed Ajmal felt the need to inject something back into cricket by setting up a cricket academy in Faisalabad which will train educate and give the children an excellent opportunity to flourish in this beautiful sport that on any given day can lift the whole country on its feet.

Saeed Ajmal has dedicated his time and effort to get his message across to the Government of Pakistan to the Pakistan Cricket Board to the people of Pakistan.

In 2012 Saeed Ajmal started a campaign to get this academy on the map of Pakistan. He managed to convince the Government of Punjab the need for Cricket to be re-established. The Government of Punjab kindly donated 22 acres of land to Saeed’s project.

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Sixteen months on and now the ground has been levelled out to include 10 full size cricket pitches along with 11 practice pitches. This was only possible by the will of Allah, kind donations from people and also a heavy contribution from Saeed Ajmal himself who from his own personal funds spent £125,000 to start this Academy.

On the day of the launch 4,500 applicants came to enrol at SAICA it took over 1 month to go through all the applicants. At the time due to limitations only 100 students where accepted on their cricketing abilities. Children of all backgrounds came with the hope to be part of this great new initiative and to be part of something special. The 100 students that where accepted where all provided with 20 pieces of equipment ranging from trousers to tops from cricket pads to gloves and everything one needs to get started.

The cost of each child’s equipment is in the region of 15,000 rupees (£95 approx). Trials for the Academy run every 3 months where 100 more applicants are again accepted on the grounds of their cricketing abilities. To date there are 300 students that are full time students at the Academy. 100 of the existing students are from very poor backgrounds or include children who are Orphans they are exempt to pay any money towards the Academy and enjoy free coaching and education. The other 200 students pay a very small amount to help with the daily running costs. Children with special needs also qualify for free coaching and equipment.

Phase 1
The completion of the grounds: In progress

Phase 2
Build a Gymnasium, changing room facilities and showers
Phase 3
Build a School for secular education and train children on rules and regulations of cricket
Phase 4
Build a Masjid to give them a good sound Islamic upbringing (Sadaka Jahriya)
Phase 5
Build a Hostel to accommodate for 200 students. 50 rooms with 4 sharing a room Phase 1 is in progress however Phase 2 -5 is in need of further funds to continue.

It is estimated to continue with Phase 2-5 SAICA is in need of £1m to complete this amazing project. This will include all the equipment required. The salaries of all 15 coaches combined is in the region of 2 Lakh and 25,000 Rupees per month (£1400 per month). Salaries of all 15 ground staff combined are in the region of 2 Lakh per month (£1250).

Future Planning
– The academy is in need of 11 bowling machines one machine at each practice pitch.
– Ground Machinery, Rollers and lawn Mowers to maintain a good health ground.
– Gym equipment needed

SAICA recognises that there is so much talent in Pakistan that its mission is to provide the best coaching, training, education and facilities to the students to flourish in developing a future career in playing cricket and ultimately playing cricket for the National team.

But not every child will be able to pursue that dream ambition and desire to become a professional cricketer due to their family’s financial circumstances. That’s why SAICA is introducing a salary structure for students to get paid to play in the academy. Some students are probably the bread winners of their families and are unable to progress in cricket because their parents can’t afford for them to play cricket not earn a living and to provide for the family. That is why each qualifying child will get paid 5000 rupees a month (£30) per month to continue with their cricket career.

Ways in which you can help
– You can sponsor a child a month by donating £60 – £30 of which will go towards his families living expense and the other £30 towards his Cricket, School and Masjid education.
– Donate equipment or sponsor a bowling machine.

Photos: Mount Snowdon climb for IKCA (Part 1)

Yesterday, members of the Stani Army from London, Birmingham, Scotland and in between, set off for Wales for their climb of Mount Snowdon in full fancy dress to raise money for the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal (IKCA). After a well deserved, good night’s rest, we’re delighted to announce the success of our climb and bring you some photos from the day.

So far we have raised close to £2000 for this great cause with the total steadily rising. If you haven’t donated yet but would like to, please visit our Just Giving page where you can still give and help someone suffering from this dreadful disease. Your donations do qualify as zakah, lillah and sadaqah.

Scroll down to view part one of the photos from yesterday’s climb and do keep a look out for part two where we will be posting some beautiful scenic shots of Snowdonia.

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WHY NOT JOIN US? Do you want to come on a climb or be a part of another Stani Army event? We would love to have you join us. If you are interested, keep a look out for announcements of our upcoming events here on http://www.staniarmy.com.

 

Mount Snowdon climb for IKCA

We are pleased to announce that on the 8th of June 2014, members of the Stani Army will be climbing Mount Snowdon in Wales to raise money for the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal (IKCA). At the time of writing, we have 21 of our members set to take part including Mr Pakistan, the Sheikh of Pakistan, the Dictator and the King of Pakistan. All our members will be climbing to the summit in full fancy dress.

We have set up a Just Giving page where you can sponsor our climb and donate to this worthy cause. Cancer is a disease that affects everyone in some way, and every one of us reading this will know of someone close to us who has been affected by this dreadful disease. Some of us are fortunate enough to get the best treatment and care available, which is something many in Pakistan simply cannot afford. Each penny you donate will inshaAllah go into increasing someone’s chances of winning their battle with cancer.

Your donations do qualify as zakah, lillah and sadaqah. You can donate here.

WHY NOT JOIN US? Do you want to come on the climb with us? All you need to do is choose a fancy dress costume and be willing to raise donations. We would love to have you join us. If you are interested, contact us here.

Stani Army IKCA

Stani Army fans Q&A with Dav Whatmore

We asked you, the fans, to send in your questions for Pakistan’s former coach Dav Whatmore. From a wide selection of questions, we chose some of the best ones to put to Dav which he kindly took out the time to answer. Scroll down to see what he had to say!

1. Since after your time with us, what have you been up to and do you have anything in the pipeline in terms of getting back into cricket? (Question from Mr Pakistan @MrPakistan786)

“Enjoying an extended period of time with my family that I have not experienced in years. However I am starting to get hungry again! Currently signed with Arena Sports and will be starting a Dav Whatmore Cricket Academy later this year in Dubai.”

2. At the international level, how much ‘coaching’ can a coach do and what is the main role a coach plays? 

“Preparation mainly and creating a healthy environment for performance. Sound tactical knowledge would greatly assist in plotting the way forward together with the captain.”

3. How much say does the Pakistan coach have in selecting the playing eleven and the tour squads? (Question from @cjalerts)

“Whilst on tour the Pakistan Coach is one of 3 selectors picking the eleven. Tour squads are purely selected by the PCB Selection Committee.”

4. Pakistan’s batting is still vulnerable and bowling inconsistent. Did you see improvements during your time as coach? (Question from Shahzad Tirmizi Syed @shahzadtirmizi)

“Of course, although there were some games where we did not perform well. It was unfortunate that we seemed to have played South Africa a lot in the last 2 years.”

5. What went wrong with Nasir Jamshed? Why did he become so timid and unconfident? (Question from Shayan Adamjee @shayanadamjee)

“It happens to batsmen sometimes. Nasir is a very good player but a loss of form resulted in his exit. I am sure he will be back at some point.”

6. Why do you think our batting frequently collapses especially when chasing? (Question from Rafia Jaffar @RafiaJaffar)

“We have chased and won and have not been the only team to who have lost chasing. Saying that it is generally harder chasing a target due to the scoreboard pressure.”

7. You’ve watched domestic games in Pakistan. Could you identify any obvious problems in our domestic cricket structure? (Question from Rafia Jaffar @RafiaJaffar)

“I have watched a few games only and that was mainly in Lahore. Department 4 and 1 day cricket is a lot stronger than regionals.”

8. In your time with us, were there any young players with leadership qualities who in your opinion could take over when Misbah retires? Who would be your next captain? (Question from Saqib Malik @saqibhm)

“There are a few but it will be unfair to name them in fear of putting too much pressure on them.”

9. Is there any upcoming talent Pakistan fans can be excited about and is there any exciting all-rounder in the Afridi/Razzaq mould coming through? (Question from Tee @mr_notorious_t)

“There are always potential in the junior ranks. Particularly in the Under 19 Squad. Sadly their development is largely left to themselves in many instances. The absence of an A Team program will always make it difficult to have continual talent coming up through the ranks. Again due to past experience I do not like to mention names due to the pressure factor.”

10. A memorable moment in your time as Pakistan coach? Preferably a funny one. (Question from Adil Mansoor @adilmtipu)

“There are too many to single one memory out. Ajmal as you can all imagine always provided us with many laughs keeping the dressing room more laid back.”

11. There is a view that coaching Pakistan is the hardest job in cricket. Did you find this to be the case, compared with your work with other nations? (Question from Mr Pakistan @MrPakistan786)

“Undoubtedly the hardest of all my coaching assignments but proud that I survived my full term.”

12. During your time, were there efforts made to bring cricket back to Pakistan and did you feel safe in the country? (Question from Tee @mr_notorious_t)

“There were efforts in a sense but unless the political situation improves there is little chance of any touring teams coming to Pakistan. I personally felt no danger living in Lahore.”

13. Your last game with Sri Lanka was the ’96 World Cup Final. You also ended your KKR stint on a high. How did it feel and rank in your career highs when Pakistan chased the target at over 5 an over in a Test in your last game with us? (Question from Imran Asghar @PakCricket_)

“My last game with Sri Lanka was in 2003 Semi Final World Cup vs Australia. I was extremely proud to see the spirit of our boys in wanting to win a difficult test match. They never gave up with things were difficult over the first 4 and half days. A number of the boys from the beginning of that test match told me they will win it for me as my last game with Pakistan.”

14. How do you rate Pakistan’s chances at the 2015 World Cup & how could we increase them? (Question from Saad Anwar @SaadiWriter & Saqib Malik @saqibhm)

“The team always enjoys playing ODIs and has had a lot of success in this format. Careful preparation and selection of the final squad will be essential. If they can adapt quickly to the different pitch conditions then they will be a difficult outfit to beat!”

15. There is talk that the subcontinent teams will struggle in the conditions in Australia and New Zealand in the World Cup 2015. Do you think this will be the case and who do you think are the contenders for the title? (Question from Abdullah Haider @maza786)

“There have been examples of sub continental teams performing well in Australia and New Zealand. It is too easy to suggest teams that play in similar conditions will be in the final. I think it will be a little different to that. Too early to say whom I think are favorites.”

16. Ex-Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson once described Misbah as the “best cricket brain in Pakistan”. Can you give us some insight into the man and how you found it working with Misbah Ul Haq?

“Misbah certainly possesses a cool head and shrewd thinking in many instances. His personal contributions whilst being a leader, have been second to none and have demonstrated that leadership has not been a burden when it comes to run making.”

17. After your last game, you said you were sure you would be back involved in Pakistan cricket “in a different capacity, sooner rather than later”. These words sounded more than just sentiment. Is there something planned that you’re not telling us about? 

“I was hoping to return to Pakistan in private initiatives. This is definitely in the future and I really hope it materialises as I love the country.”

18. Outside of cricket, how did you find it living in Pakistan? The food? The people? etc 

“I struggled the first year when living at the NCA. Once I shifted to my own apartment it became much happier. You will never hear me complain about the food in Pakistan and the people were always friendly.”

We thank Dav for his time, and on behalf of all Pakistan fans, thank him for all his efforts with our team, wishing him all the best for the future. Last but not least, a special thanks to Alex Whatmore for her help.

This is the first in a series of a new questions and answers feature we have launched with more instalments coming over the next few months. Keep following to be in with a chance to put your questions to biggest names associated with Pakistan cricket.