By: Rashid Ali Siddiqui, President PSWF: Asian Karate Champion Saadi Abbas, World number 1 spin bowler Saeed Amjal, Tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq and Women’s cricket captain Sana Mir were adjudged the best athletes of the year 2011 by the Pakistan Sports Writers Federation (PSWF).
PSWF is the sole representative sports journalist body in Pakistan and affiliated with International Sports Press Association (AIPS).
A five-member PSWF committee comprising Abdul Mohi Shah (Islamabad), Shahid Shaikh (Punjab), Syed Nasar Iqbal (Sindh), Ijaz Khan (Khyber Pukhtunkhwa) and M. Amjal Khan (Balochistan) recommended the names of Saadi Abbas (karate), Saeed Ajmal (cricket), Aisam-ul-Haq (tennis), Sana Mir (women cricket), Abdul Haseem Khan (hockey), Aqeel Khan (tennis), Hajra Khan (football), Almas Ibrahim (athletics), Ghalia Khursheed (table tennis), Nida Dar (cricket), Kiran Khan (swimming), Muhammad Waseem (boxing) for the nomination of best PSWF athletes of 2011.
However, in consultation with President PSWF Rashid Ali Siddiqui and Secretary General Amjad Aziz Malik, four athletes were unanimously declared best athletes, who excelled in their respective fields during 2011 for Pakistan. They are Saadi Abbas, off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq and Pakistan’s women cricket captain Sana Mir.
Pakistan ace Saadi Abbas created history when he won gold at the Asian Karate Championship beating Kim Ju Won of South Korea in the -67kg weight category title showdown in China. Saadi is not only the first Pakistani but also the first South Asian to have clinched gold in the Asian Championship.
Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal topped the ICC Player Ranking for ODI bowlers at the end of 2011. He took 11 wickets at an average of just 16.27 and an economy-rate of less than 4.00 to help Pakistan to a 4-1 series win against Sri Lanka. That effort won him five places on the latest rankings and puts him at the top, just ahead of two other spinner, Daniel Vettori of New Zealand and England’s Graeme Swann.
Aisam Ul Haq Qureshi:
He is a professional tennis player, who has achieved the world No. 8 ranking on 6 June 2011—a landmark in Pakistan’s tennis history. A top 10 doubles player, his highest Singles Race ranking is 103rd and is the former Asian No. 3. He is the only Pakistani tennis player to reach the final of a Grand Slam, which he did in 2010 competing in both mixed doubles (partnering with Kveta Peschke) and men’s doubles (partnering with Indian Rohan Bopanna) at the US Open.
She is the best ever captain of the Pakistan women’s cricket as under her captaincy Pakistani girls brought many laurels to the county. She was woman of the Tournament at the 2008 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier, and currently ranks 16th in the Women’s ODI Bowlers in the ICC Player Rankings. She led her team to 2010 Asian Games gold medal. She has also honour to spearhead Pakistan women team to the first ever tournament win in both the T20 and quadrangular series in Sri Lanka 2011 and world cup qualifying rounds. The teams in the quadrangular were Sri Lanka,Pakistan, Ireland and Holland.