CHITRAL: Chitral polo teams were visibly dominant at the three day Shandur polo festival which concluded today. Having only lost the ‘D’ team match and the exhibition officials match to GB, Chitral teams won all the other six scheduled matches matches with impressive margins. The final day match between Chitral ‘A’ and GB ‘A’ teams is always the biggest show and most watched. This time a neck to neck tussle continued between the two teams throughout the match, eventually resulting in one goal victory for Chitral team which won by 10 goals against 9 of GB team. The winning goal was scored by star player Izhar Ali Khan who was also declared man of the match after scoring 6 of the 10 goals for Chitral.
The distinct feature of the match was the Captaincy of evergreen veteran captain of Chitral team, Shahzada Sikander Ul Mulk, who is duly acknowledged as the spirit behind the game of polo in Chitral. At 65 years age and with a splinter in his leg due to injury in an earlier polo match some years ago, he is probably the oldest player to captain a roughshod game as the northern polo at a height of 12000 ft above sea level. The survival and nourishment of free style polo in Chitral which is no easy game to afford, owes a lot to the dedicated gentleman for whom polo is a ‘labour of love’.
Another noticeable feature of this year’s Shandur polo festival was the low key posture of both civil and military officialdom at the venue as against bold extravagant show offs at previous Shandur festivals .. CN report, 03 July 2022