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January 3, 2015

PSF issues warning to top players


January 3, 2015

KARACHI: Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has warned the top players of the country that they must start winning PSA-25 events or it would ignore them and invest in other players.
“They have to win major events now,” PSF secretary Amir Nawaz told ‘The News’.
He said these players had their last chance to win a $25,000 event this year. “Seven years have passed and no Pakistani player has won a high-prized event,” he said.
Mansoor Zaman, who was world number 11 in 2003 and has the credit of defeating world number one Thierry Lincou, won $30,000 Kolkata International in 2008 in India. Since then, no player has won an event of more than $15,000 prize money.
Moreover, Pakistan’s players have managed to win only 15 Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments outside the country since 2005.
This dismal record speaks volumes about the performance of the country’s squash authorities and national coaches during the period considering the fact that Pakistan was once the superpower in the world of squash.
Pakistani players have only been winning events of $5000 to $15,000 prize money.
Farhan Zaman and Nasir Iqbal, the two top-ranked players of the country, have been provided several opportunities to play international events across the world but their performance has been below par.
“It is quite encouraging that our players have started qualifying for PSA-25 events and they are reaching the semi-finals and finals. This is very encouraging, but they have to start winning the finals as well,” said Amir.
He claimed that PSF’s efforts were bearing fruit and the country had started hosting PSA-25 events. “One PSA-25 event with foreign participation was held in October last while two are to be organised this year in Islamabad. So PSF achieved one of its main targets — bringing back international squash to Pakistan,” he added.
“Our second aim,” he added, “is to help our players break into the top-ten

rankings. Our focus is on improving international rankings of our players. And this target cannot be achieved if our players fail to win events of higher prize money. So we have given them last chance this year to work hard and start winning high-prized events,” he added.
Amir said Nasir and Farhan had been provided with all required facilities and would now be placed in UK under the guidance of Mohammad Yaseen so that they could prove their mettle.

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