Tuesday May 17, 2022

Two satellite events in Balochistan in February

By Our Correspondent
January 21, 2022

KARACHI: A former national player has come forward to help Balochistan squash to once again start producing great players like Zarak Jehan, Hidi Jehan, Zubair Jehan, Shams Kakar, and Humayun Khan.

Mujtaba Raza is confident that he will do his best to complete this task. “All these players were from Quetta but now we don’t get champion players from Balochistan which is quite disappointing.

“So we are working to make Quetta once again a major contributor to the national squash,” said Mujtaba while talking to ‘The News’.

He said they are starting their initiative with Balochistan Satellite Squash Tournament and Balochistan Senior Open Satellite, which will be held at Ayub Stadium from February 18-23.

The draw size is 16 and the format is knockout. “We will provide accommodation to players. The winner of each event will get $200 while runner-ups, semi-finalists, quarter-finalists, and first round losers will also get substantial amounts,” said Mujtaba.

He said that with the help of his friends he arranged finances to organise these two satellite events initially with the aim of resuming squash activities in Balochistan.

“We also got support from M Arshad of Balochistan Squash Association, Shahid Mehdi, who is coach at Ayub Stadium, and a few others,” said Mujtaba.

He said that these tournaments are being held in Quetta after a gap of around 16 months as the last international event in the province was the $1000 PSF Balochistan Satellite Squash Tournament in October 2020, which was won by Nasir Iqbal.

“These tournaments are to benefit local players. They will get motivated as they work hard for such opportunities,” said Mujtaba.

He added that in the absence of competitions local players get disheartened. It is important to continuously hold such events in order to give players hope, he said.

“Our future plan is to increase the prize money of these events and next time we might organize a $5000 or $10,000 event. If the associated units of PSF make efforts, it will benefit the country’s squash,” said Mujtaba.

He said that he started playing squash in Balochistan and then he moved to the United Arab Emirates where he became under-19 champion.

“Now I want to pay back to my province. I want to help the province’s local players who don’t get chances to prove their talent,” said Mujtaba.