The historical Aibak Polo Cup 2021 got underway at the Aibak Polo ground, at the Lahore Polo Club. Two matches being played on the opening day.
The first match of the day proved to be a thrilling encounter, where Remounts beat Colony Polo Team with a narrow margin of 7-6 1/2. Ignacio Negri emerged as hero of the day from team Remounts with a contribution of superb six goals while Vieri Antinori struck one goal. From Colony Polo Team, which had a half goal handicap advantage, both Francisco Bensadon and Jamie Le Hardy hammered a hat-trick each but their efforts could not bear fruit for their side.
The second encounter of the day saw Master Paints Black outpacing Diamond Paints by 10-7 1/2. Matias Vial Parez was the star of the day from Master Paints Black as he smashed in splendid five goals while Mariano Raigal converted a hat-trick and Ahmed Ali Tiwana a brace. From Diamond Paints, which had two and a half goal handicap advantage, Ramiro Zaveletta and Saqib Khan Khakwani banged in a brace while Abdul Rehman Monnoo scored one goal.
Top eight teams are vying for the top honours in the 14-goal tournament, which are divided into two pools. The Pool A teams include Remounts, Colony Polo Team, Diamond Paints, Master Paints Black while Pool B teams are Barry’s, Master Paints, DS Polo/ASC and BN Polo.
The subsidiary and main finals will be played on Sunday, 14th February.
Aibak Ground History
The Aibak Cup is dedicated to the memory of Qutubuddin Aibak, who became the Afghan Emperor Muhammed Ghauri’s most trusted general. In early 1200, Emperor Ghauri appointed Qutubuddin as his ‘Naib us Sultanat’ in India at the grand darbar in Lahore. Upon Ghauri’s death in 1206, the kingdom’s Central Asian territories were captured by the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan, but Aibak retained the lower kingdom and became ruler of the territories which now cover the areas of modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan & Northern India. Qutubuddin spent his time between Lahore & Delhi, where he also built the Qutub Minar, now a world heritage site. Sultan Qutubuddin Aibak died in Lahore in 1210 in an accident while playing polo. He was buried in Lahore near the Anarkali Bazaar.