By Alastair Symondson
There are three books which have been released recently that must have all, in their own way, been the result of monumental tasks of extensive research and painstaking hours to produce – Winds Behind the Willows by Ranjan Mellawa, England the Biography by Simon Wilde and Another Perspective by Taher Memon and Salim Parvez. All three books cover a period of cricket history of different cricketing nations Winds Behind the Willows – Sri Lanka, England the Biography – England and Another Perspective – Pakistan
To get this book into perspective, one needs take oneself back to the mid 1970s when the world of cricket was shaken by Kerry Packer and the very core of International Cricket was threatened by a new phase of cricket player professionalism. Every country cricket Board had to determine a pathway forward and this is the untold story of how Pakistan cricket was led into the new era of the game’s history from 1977-1998.
Taher Memon was an Advertising and Corporate Communications Manager at the Pakistan Tobacco Company and this is the story of how one man’s vision, backed by one company’s sponsorship enabled the then Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP), to develop and grow cricket in their country.
It is a fascinating read and is backed by numerous ‘Views and Impressions’ by former Test cricketers, officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (now PCB) and the ICC (International Cricket Council) Regional Cricket Associations, commentators and journalists.
This book is a comprehensive insight into the development of the game at grass root level in Pakistan and provides an accurate account of the contribution made by a single sponsor and its impact on the development of the game – Zaheer Abbas.
Wills, as a Brand, became synonymous with cricket in Pakistan in a period which saw unparalleled growth in the participation and interest in cricket all over Pakistan, which eventually led to their sponsorship of the 1996 Cricket World Cup as well.
Another Perspective is the story of how cricket became a great national sporting institution in Pakistan – a must read for all cricket enthusiasts and is available through Troubador Publishing www.troubador.co.uk as well as Amazon.
Book launch at PHC
LONDON: The launching ceremony of ‘Another Perspective’ will be held at the Pakistan High Commission on Monday, August 13 at 4.30 for 5pm. The chief guest will be Pak High Commissioner Sahebzada Ahmed Khan. The admission would be by invite only. All profits from the sale of the book will go to ‘The Hunar Foundation’.
The book is an authentic source of information on the Pak cricket history 1977-98, the untold story of development of cricket in Pakistan and a result of joint efforts of Taher Memon and Salim Parvez with foreword by Zaheer Abbas.
In his comments, Zaheer Abbas hopes that the book is bound to provide an eye opener to the vital role sponsors can and should play as their commitment to the society they operate in. “I have no doubt that the book will offer some concrete examples set during the period. The book will prove to be a treasure in itself for and in posterity, providing an accurate account of the contribution made by a single sponsor over a period of two decades and its impact on the development of game at the grass root level in Pakistan”, he stated.
The author Taher Memon is a well-known figure of Pakistani diaspora in Britain. He started his career as an advertising professional in the graphics industry in Karachi. He jointed Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) in 1968, enjoying progressive roles in marketing communications focussed on advertising, merchandising, sales promotion and event management.
During 29 years, he was solely responsible for managing PTC’s sponsorship of cricket from 1977 to 1997. His reputation as an organiser, his fame for introducing the sports marketing discipline to Pakistan and his leadership in the development of the game and its infrastructure in the country, made his name synonymous with Wills & Cricket.
With a second successful career encompassing entrepreneurship, sports marketing consulting and the launch of several ethnic television and radio channels in the UK, Taher Memon now lives in London where he continues to provide his rich experience of marketing and media to ethnic businesses.
The co-author Mohammed Salim Parvez is a UK-based freelance cricket writer kicked off with an England-West Indies 1995 pocket-size book and his first taste of publication on Pakistan cricket with BNabes of Cricket to World Champion in 1996 written in collaboration with Shuja-ud-din Butt, Test all-rounder of the 1950s. The pair improved upon their work with ‘The Chequered History of Pakistan Cricket’, launched in Lahore in 2003.
Mohammed Salim’s major contribution perhaps thus far is the profile-based heavyweight publication, K.H. Baloch’s Encyclopaedia of Pakistan Cricket, launched in Karachi in 2005. Since then, the same team have broken new ground with K.H. Baloch’s Bibliography of Pakistan Cricket, coinciding with Pakistan team’s tour of England in 2010.
At present, the 2nd edition of Encyclopaedia of Pakistan Cricket is taking its final shape with an aim to be launched in the near future.