ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) organised a function here at the Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex on Saturday to mark the World Squash Day.
PSF senior vice president Syed Razi Nawab was the chief guest on the occasion while PSF secretary Amir Nawaz, head coach Jamshed Gul, referee Asif Khan, around 50 kids along with some of the top stars of the country were also present there. Two exhibition matches were also played between Farhan Mehboob and Nasir Iqbal and Amna Lateef and Roma Yousaf. The theme of the World Squash Day was ‘reaching out’.
Speaking at the occasion, Razi Nawab highlighted the importance of World Squash Day and efforts being put in by the World Squash Federation (WSF) for inclusion of squash in the Olympics. He said it was quite disappointing that the game was not included in the Olympics despite the fact it was being played in more than 50 countries. He said youth took keen interest in this sport which showed that this game was gaining popularity with each passing day.
“The PSF arranged a function at PAF Museum in Karachi wherein during four days, around 70,000 people visited the venue, which is indeed a great turn out keeping in mind the fact they were mainly common persons who hardly watched squash in their life,” he added. He said around 18 to 25 squash courts were available at Islamabad which was a great blessing by all means. “The PAF contributed a lot to promote squash at grassroots level as all the other privately-run squash courts only allow their members to utilise their facilities but it was only PAF which didn’t impose any restriction to anyone.” “It is discrimination by the WSF as far as allocations of the PSA events are concerned. About 445 players are registered with PSF from 59 countries while Pakistani players make 23 percent of total strength of the PSA listed players, but we are given only nine percent of the PSA events,” he said.
“Same is the case with UK which has 36 percent share but they are given only 13 percent of the PSA events but on the other hand, Australia has a share of 14 percent but it is allocated a whopping 89 percent of the PSA events and Egypt has a contribution of 14 percent but they get 76 percent of the PSA events. Canada has a 13 percent representation but they get 31 percent of the PSA events. Why this special treatment is lend towards Pakistan although we have produced eight world champions. We have an unmatched record and ruled the squash world for more than four decades,” he questioned. “Participation in less international events is the main reason behind Pakistan players lacking way behind in PSA rankings. It was not the fault of the PSF and players didn’t need to depress with their lower rankings. It was the WSF which is at fault so they have to revive their tournaments allocation system to give equal opportunities to other nations,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, a grueling encounter was witnessed between Farhan Mehboob and Nasir Iqbal. Both the players played well but at the end, it was Nasir who exhibited his prowess and won the well-contested final 6-11, 11-9, 11-8. Both the players were awarded cash prizes by the chief guest. An exhibition match was also played between Amna Lateef and Roma Yousaf which was won by Amna 11-5. Both were also given cash awards by Razi Nawab. A farewell was also arranged in honour of outgoing Wing Commander Secretary Abdul Wahab Marwat. His services were highly lauded by Razi Nawab and a souvenir was also handed over to him.