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August 7, 2019

Alvi urges senior squash players to raise standard of game


August 7, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Senior Vice President Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi believed it was time for the senior players to raise the level of their priorities to bring laurels for the country and at the same time to justify the investment made by the federation on their training and international exposure.

Talking to ‘The News’ at the twilight of his association with the federation, Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi said he wanted top players to think and aim for the higher position instead of getting interested in low prize money events.

“I am surprised a senior squash player who has been in the business since long preferring to appear in $ 10 or $ 15 thousand events. Your game never grows up, if you continue to appear in such a low prize money events. Two to three years for a youngster are enough for such events. A senior player who wants to adopt squash as a profession must aim higher as only a systematic and consistent approach can make him a true and competitive individual. Sadly majority of Pakistan players prefer playing in low prize money event that hardly give them opportunity to play against top players and improve standard of their game.”

Alvi said there was no use sending the squad for World Team Championship in such circumstances. “Last time Pakistan participated in the World Team Championship we finished 19th and this time around the prospects were no better-the reason being our leading players’ inability to put in a share hard work that is necessary to bring the best out of a player.”

While all other leading squash nation players invest from their own pocket to play in the international circuit events, the PSF continuously backs and supports their top senior players for one international or the other.

“Look we have extended every possible support to senior players to improve their PSA Ranking. Last year we organized no less than 19 international squash events in Pakistan in effort to provide the best platform for tour leading players. Whatever the ranking our top players are having at this point of time is because of the tournaments they played at home.”

The PSF SVP said what these players required was to put in extra efforts. “As a professional player you cannot rely on the federation alone. Players urge to perform, his fitness, his spirit and consistent approach to make himself a better player is what he needs. The PSF will continue to support those players who prefer putting in their hundred percent efforts. Half hearted and disjointed approach takes you nowhere.” He revealed that the matter of Pakistan team’s participation was discussed with former champions Jahangir Khan and Qamar Zaman. “Both agreed not to send the team as there was no visible seriousness among the top players to perform at their best.”

Tayab Aslam, Farhan Zaman, Asem Khan, Ammad Fareed, Farhan Mehboob and Ahsen Ayaz got full federation backing and support during last three to four years but they failed to bring out their best and were never consistent in their approach.

Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi, however, was confident that junior players would go on to make a name for themselves. “Junior players represented Pakistan at World Championship have some more years at their disposal. Hopefully these would go on to perform in a much better way in the next meet. These juniors have already won over 60 international medals in recent times. Some of them are really talented and are considered as the future of Pakistan squash. Hopefully they will earn laurels for the country in days to come with share hard work and consistent approach.”

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