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Tuesday Jan 19 2021
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Pakistan announces team for world's first online scrabble championship

The scrabble championship is being played online for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: AFP

  • Pakistan squad for world’s first online scrabble championship named
  • Pakistan hosting world’s first online scrabble championship from January 22. Around 96 players from 16 countries of five continents will compete
  • PSA youth director says this is a great honour for the country


KARACHI: An eight-member squad for the world's first international online youth scrabble championship has been announced by the Pakistan Scrabble Association.

The trophy of the championship was also unveiled, The News reported Tuesday.  

Pakistan is all set to host the first international online youth scrabble championship starting Friday (January 22).

At least 96 players from 16 countries of five continents will compete. Pakistan has been selected as the host by the World English-language Scrabble Players Association (Wespa), the global regulatory body for scrabble.

Read more: Pakistan hosting world's first online youth scrabble championship in January

The Pakistan squad has national and international scrabble champions. Syed Imaad Ali, Hasham Hadi Khan, Monis Hussain Khan, Ali Salman, Usman Shaukat and Ali Wasif are in the squad, while Saim Waqar and Shan-e-Abbas are the reserved players.

'Pakistan squad will not let the trophy go'

Quetta Gladiators cricket franchise director Hassan Umer said they are glad to be part of the championship and hoped that the Pakistani squad will not let the trophy go away from the country. 

“Quetta Gladiators supports physical sports as well as scrabble, which is one of the best mind sports,” Umer said.

Pakistan Scrabble Association (PSA) Youth Director Tariq Pervez says it is a great honour for Pakistan to be selected as the host.

The championship is being played online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: 14-year-old becomes youngest national champion in Pakistan scrabble history

The PSA official said the first virtual youth championship will be sponsored by Quetta Gladiators and Pharmevo.

Tariq said they have come up with technological solutions to hold the virtual championship as all the scrabble events have been cancelled till 2022 in the world.

He was accompanied by Faraz Maqbool of Quetta Gladiators, Mansoor Khan of Pharmevo, tournament director Hassan Hadi Khan and director technical Vali M Khubaib,

How will the online championship work?

All players are under 18 years of age. The championship will be played on a team format for the first time with with each team consisting of six players.

Teams are divided into four groups of four teams each who will play the group stages on round robin league basis. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.

Read more: 13-year-old Pakistani prodigy reaches World Scrabble Championship quarter-final

All games will be completely surveilled by the technical team through webcams. Selected matches will be live streamed with running commentary by leading commentators Will Anderson and Jesse Day of USA. Waseem Khatri and Daniyal Sanaullah will be doing the Urdu commentary for Pakistani viewers.