Tuesday November 30, 2021

Hasheesh — from ball boy to Pakistan’s top junior player

February 03, 2021

KARACHI: Sindh’s Hasheesh Kumar has become the country’s top junior tennis player and he is not going to the United States.

Unlike other top players produced by Sindh in recent years who went abroad after getting scholarships, he will stay in the country and so is a long term prospect for the country.

Hasheesh started his tennis journey as a ball boy at Defence Authority Club. Seeing his passion for tennis, his mother contacted Sindh Tennis Association (STA) and asked for financial support so that he could pursue his dream of becoming a tennis player.

The association managed a stipend of Rs3000 per month for him for one year from Sindh Sports Board and that really helped him.

Later, he was given a stipend of Rs3500 per month by National Bank of Pakistan which proved quite beneficial for him and he started showing good performance in the local tennis circuit.

Then a breakthrough came for him when he was selected in the national under-14 team to represent Pakistan in an international tournament in Asia Pacific region.

After a while, Hasheesh managed to become part of another national team that went to play an International Club tournament in the under-16 category in Singapore.

He continued with his good performance in the national circuit. Recently he got sponsorship from General Tyre to play three national events in Lahore and Karachi.

Hasheesh won two national events in the under-18 category in just one month and garnered enough points to become the country’s number one junior player.

Ali Kuli Khan, Chief Executive Officer of General Tyre, told ‘The News’ that it was their policy to support local talent, especially underprivileged youngsters.

Besides Hasheesh, the company has sponsored another ball boy from Sindh Mahatir Mohammad who has also been performing quite well in the national circuit and has become the number two junior player of the country.

Recently, he claimed the title of juniors under-18 singles at 9th Essa Lab national tennis championships for juniors and seniors here in Karachi.

When contacted, STA’s Khalid Rehmani said that Hasheesh is a really talented player. “The good thing about him is that he is not going abroad on scholarship and he will stay here in Pakistan,” he said.

He added that unfortunately all top players from Sindh in the past years went abroad on scholarship. “He will continue with the legacy of Aqeel Khan, the country’s top player.

“Hasheesh will now play in the men’s category and we are hopeful that he is going to show his mettle in this category as well in the coming years,” said Khalid.