Diplomats, media men play cricket to support park school


ISLAMABAD: Serena Hotels hosted a charity cricket match between Media XI, a team of senior journalists, and Diplomats XI, at the Shalimar Cricket Ground in support of Master Ayub’s Park School (MAPS) located in a public park in F6 where underprivileged children are taught free-of-cost.

The match was organised under the Serena Hotels’ sports diplomacy initiative.

James Norton and Christopher Ward from the Austrian High Commission, Siril and Silbert from South Africa, Gerhard from Germany, Gen Jayanath, Mangla and his son from Sri Lanka, Talat Hussain, Adnan Siddiqui and Senator Faisal Javed were few of the prominent personalities who played the match.

Serena Hotels CEO Aziz Boolani said, “Serena Hotels is delighted to be able to support a cause that is pivotally important for every household and every community in Pakistan. This has been a wonderful opportunity to combine our support to education with the sports diplomacy initiative.”

Mohammad Ayub Khan, known as Master Ayub, has been running an open-air school in a park in Sector F-6 for more than three decades, utilising his own resources. A firefighter by profession, Master Ayub devotes his after-job hours teaching students at the school.

What began as a tiny group, the school today exceeds 200 students being taught in three shifts. For his service to education and the underprivileged children he has taught, Master Ayub was recognised by the Ministry of Education in 2012 and given the President’s Award in 2015.

Diplomats XI won the match with 136 runs after an energetic inning, but the true winners were the children of the school who will benefit from this charity initiative.