Ufone has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), under which Ufone will sponsor a talent hunt drive for young fast bowlers in the country.
The activity will be carried out nationwide as the candidates will be selected from 8-10 cities from across Pakistan and any bowler with a bowling speed of 140 kmph or more will be selected for 2 weeks training by cricketing legend Wasim Akram.
Ufone has said that it will reward the fastest bowler achieving 145 kmph speed with Rs. 1 million. In case of multiple participants achieving this speed, then amount will be equally shared amongst all achievers.
Initiative is going to help the young fast bowlers to get their chance of hitting the mainstream cricket under the patronage of Wasim Akram himself. It is likely that we may get another Shoaib Akhter picked up from the camp to rule the world of cricket for next decade.
It merits mentioning here that Ufone’s young talent hunt has surfaced at a time when telcos are more concerned about cost-cutting and optimization processes.
It is pertinent to mention here that Mobilink recently pulled-out of its long-running partnership with Pakistan Cricket Board. If sources are to be believed than cost for Mobilink’s exclusive partnership with PCB was around 30 to 40 million rupees for three years.
Under the contract Mobilink remained exclusive and official cellular partner of PCB from 2006 to Q1 2013, while no other telecom operator could put in any signage etc. Mobilink, with this contract with PCB, enjoyed first telecom specific right of refusal for any sponsorship along with permanent key position in all key stadiums of Pakistan.
We know that VimpelCom, the parent group of Mobilink, has a special focus on cost-cutting techniques that might have influenced Mobilink for not renewing the contract with PCB.
Analysts believe that cost cutting phenomenon for sponsoring sporting events may also be the result of reduced local sporting activity in the country.
In such circumstances, Ufone’s sponsorship with PCB is huge blessing for the boost of cricket at grass-root level.