Pakistan Prime Minister wins top award in Dubai

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Khan was awarded for his efforts in turning Pakistan into one of the world’s leading cricketing nations.

By Team KT

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Published: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 5:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 8:50 PM

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was named the International Sports Personality at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award ceremony in Dubai on Tuesday.

The ceremony to announce the winners of the 11th edition of the MBR Creative Sports Award — the largest such award in terms of prize money and categories and the first dedicated to creativity in sports — was held on Tuesday at Deep Dive Dubai in the presence of Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, and Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Award’s Board of Trustees.

The ceremony was also attended by members of the Award’s Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of Dubai Sports Council as well as prominent sports personalities.

Khan was awarded for his efforts to turn Pakistan into one of the world’s leading cricketing nations.

The legendary all-rounder captained the Pakistan team that emerged victorious in the 1992 Cricket World Cup, defeating England in the final.

An inspirational sports icon, he continues to inspire young people as Prime Minister now, enhancing the status of sports in general and cricket in particular, and empowering Pakistani society through sports. Today, half of the country’s 221 million population identify themselves as cricket fans, and nearly 42,000 players are officially registered with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

In 2019, Khan launched a pioneering $639 million initiative for the welfare of Pakistan’s youth, under which young men and women will be given scholarships and skill-development opportunities, including scholarships in sports. In June this year, Khan announced plans to build a cricket ground in each of Pakistan’s 4,000-plus Union and Village Councils.

Prolific Mabkhout

Prolific striker Ali Mabkhout won the Local Athlete Award for becoming the all-time top scorer for the UAE national football team with 79 goals.

Among the active international footballers, Ali Mabkhout sits in the third place behind Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo (115 goals) and Indian captain Sunil Chhetri and Argentinian icon Lionel Messi who are jointly holding the second place with 80 goals each.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of Qatar Olympic Committee, has been named the Arab Sports Personality for his long list of achievements. After Al Thani took over as President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, Qatari athletes enjoyed great success on the international stage and even won two gold medals and a bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Games — Qatar’s best ever performance in Olympic history.

Sheikh Mansoor said Dubai will continue to shower world-class athletes with the highest accolades.

“The Award, through its membership in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, contributes to empowering societies through sports and supporting creators and distinguished people who set an example for others to walk the path of excellence and achieve great achievements,” Sheikh Mansoor said.

“Today, we announce a new elite of sports creators to honour them, and send a message to all athletes and sports institutions that the honour will be the share of every creator who seeks to raise the level of performance and sports achievement everywhere.”

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Feryal Ashraf Abdel Aziz, who clinched a historic gold medal in karate at the 2020 Olympic Games, won the Arab Athlete Award.

In the same category, other award winners include Tokyo Olympic medallists Ahmed Ayoub Hafnaoui (400m freestyle gold in swimming) of Tunisia, Soufiane El Bakkali (3000m steeplechase gold) of Morocco and Saudi Arabia’s Tarek Ali Hamdi (silver medal in karate).

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