Pak­istan tees up first Asian Tour event since 2008

Global Times US Edition - - SPORTS -

Pak­istan will host its first golf tour­na­ment with the Asian Tour in 11 years, or­ga­niz­ers an­nounced Tues­day, as in­ter­na­tional sports grad­u­ally re­turns to a ter­ror-hit coun­try where se­cu­rity has im­proved.

The Chief of Naval Staff Open Golf Cham­pi­onship is set to tee off from July 24 to 27 in Karachi, at­tract­ing a tal­ented cast of Asian Tour stars to the $300,000 event.

“Our tal­ented mem­bers are ex­cited to re­turn to Pak­istan,” said Josh Bu­rack, Asian Tour Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, in a state­ment.

Reg­u­lar Asian Tour events have been ab­sent in the coun­try since 2008, when a tour­na­ment was can­celed over se­cu­rity con­cerns amid a wave of mil­i­tant at­tacks across Pak­istan.

All in­ter­na­tional sport­ing events were later sus­pended in Pak­istan fol­low­ing an at­tack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in La­hore in March 2009.

But suc­cess­ful mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in the coun­try’s north­west and ur­ban cen­ters have largely beaten back mil­i­tant groups and dra­mat­i­cally im­proved se­cu­rity na­tion­wide.

As a re­sult, the coun­try has hosted back-to-back Pak­istan Su­per League cricket start­ing in 2017, in ad­di­tion to a lim­ite­dover se­ries against Zim­babwe, the World XI and Sri Lanka.

Pak­istan’s Chief of Naval Staff Za­far Ab­basi, whom the tour­na­ment is named af­ter, lauded the re­turn of the Asian Tour. “This is great news for golf in Pak­istan. We are thrilled to wel­come the Asian Tour and its tal­ented mem­bers to our beau­ti­ful coun­try,” said Ab­basi.

Pak­istan hosted its first Asian Tour event in 1989, which was won by Filipino star Frankie Mi­noza.

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