KARACHI: The coaching system of Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) is in shambles, making it really difficult for players to perform well at international level.
No Pakistani coach has been able to win any Asian Squash Federation (ASF) award since 2007. In 2006 and 2007, Fahim Gul won ‘Coach of the Year’ award. Rehmat Khan won the award in 2004.
Ironically, PSF sacked Fahim, its only level-3 coach, and currently there is no head coach for Pakistan’s squash. PSF is running its coaching system with the help of associate coaches hired on interim basis.
Former PSF secretary Pervaiz Saeed Mir said that no one had the vision for the promotion of the game at the grassroots level. “There is no short-term or long-term youth and seniors levels programme,” said Pervaiz.
Before Fahim, PSF had also sacked Jamshed without any reasons. “I can safely say that there is no qualified coach in the current coaching setup of PSF. No programme is being run,” said Jamshed while talking to ‘The News’.
He is currently in the United States for some coaching assignments. Jamshed said PSF cannot prepare players through the faulty system for big international events.
“Once our focus was on the World Junior Championships, British Junior Open and other high profile events but now we are happy only by sending our junior players to Qatar and Malaysia,” said Jamshed.
He added that PSF needs to focus on big tournaments to provide competitive environment to the junior players. Jamshed said squash had changed a lot and it was difficult to survive in the current scenario by applying old tactics. “Squash in Pakistan has declined to an alarming stage and to make it in order we have to bring a big network following the pattern of countries like Malaysia,” said Jamshed.
He added this whole thing needs huge investment as has been done in Qatar. “Today they have Abdulla Al-Tamimi who is World No 33. Our coaching system needs competent and qualified coaches. And they must have freedom to coach. Provinces have to play their role in this project,” said Jamshed.
To a question, he said coaches would win awards on the basis of their performance and for that they need refreshing courses. “I conducted two level-2 coaching courses during my time and wanted to hold level-3 course as well. The current PSF management has not yet conducted any coaching course,” said Jamshed. He appealed to the new president of PSF to pay attention to the deteriorating coaching system of PSF.