KARACHI: Pakistan will send a group of 20-plus players to Mind Sports International (MSI) World Scrabble Championship and World Junior Scrabble Championship that will take place in August, and Pakistan Scrabble Association (PSA) is planning to hold a qualifying round for both the events on July 9.
According to PSA Vice-President Tariq Pervez, the qualifying tournament will help the PSA identify top talent, which can then be trained for MSI events.
“We will be sending more than 20 players,” Pervez told The Express Tribune. “It is going to be a major event for us as our 2014 Worth Youth Scrabble Champion Moiz Baig will also be competing in the juniors’ category. We are excited and we will be picking the best lot from next month’s qualifying round.”
Pervez added that almost 200 new players have been discovered from the last inter-school championship that PSA held earlier this year, adding that inter-school level is where most of the competitors for the qualifying rounds will be picked from.
“We’ve been grooming these talented players from the inter-school championship, but only the very best will make it past the qualifying round, after which their training will become more intensive,” he said. “We will have the toughest training sessions as our players will have to compete with some of the best juniors in the world in August.”
Meanwhile, star player Baig, in addition to participating himself, will double as the juniors’ coach, just like he had done at the World Youth Scrabble Championship last year.
“Moiz will be competing but he will also train the juniors,” said Pervez. He will most likely be the coach-cum-captain. Then we also have our national champion Waseem Khatri so we have two very capable players who can guide our younger team members.”
The World Junior Scrabble Championship and World Championship were originally scheduled to take place in Doha but the venue was later changed to Nottingham Trent University in England.