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December 7, 2017

Pakistan Open returns after 10 years


December 7, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Renewed efforts by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) to convince world bodies on the security arrangements in the country have borne fruit as Pakistan Open Squash returns after a gap of ten years.
Serena Pakistan Open and Serena Chief of Air Staff Women Open will get under way simultaneously from December 17-24 at the Mushaf Ali Mir Complex. “The World Squash Federation (WSF) and Players Squash Association (PSA) were reluctant to honour their commitment because of the recent dharna,” PSF secretary Tahir Sultan said in a media briefing on Wednesday.
“Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi, who is PSF’s senior vice president, and former British Open champion Qamar Zaman successfully pleaded Pakistan’s case at a recent meeting in France,” he added.
Leading international players from Egypt, Hong Kong, Malaysia, England, Australia, France, Spain, Wales, Portugal, Switzerland and Iran are to compete in the event.Tahir said Pakistan Open was one of the major events on the international circuit ten years back. “We have been given permission to hold the $50,000 event this fall. The PSF hopes that in a couple of years, it will be in a position to hold the event with bigger prize money. During the WSF AGM meeting we also pleaded our case of more international circuit events next season,” he said.
He added that these steps had been taken to help leading Pakistan players improve their ranking at international level. “This effort is all for Pakistan players. We are trying to provide the best facilities and opportunities to Pakistan players to see them climbing on the PSA ranking,” he said.
Egyptian World No 6 Marwan El Shorbagy is the top seed of the event. His countrymen Mohammad Abouelghar (13th) and Zahed Mohammad (25th) and Hong Kong’s Leo Au (26th) are the other top players in the event.
Pakistan has given wild card to Israr Ahmad. Farhan Mehboob, Farhan Zaman and Ahsan Ayaz are the other local players in the main round. In

ladies CAS Open offering $25,000 in prize money, World No 11 Annie Au (Hong Kong) is the top seed. Women from Egypt, Australia and Malaysia are also in run for the title. Sadia Gul has been given wild card for the event.

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