Home of squash legends deserves to host international events: Omar

ISLAMABAD - Former world number 3 Egyptian squash player Omar Mossad feels that, Pakistan, which is a home of squash legends, really deserve to host international squash events.

Talking to The Nation just before his departure to Egypt, Omar said: “I have been to Pakistan 8 times and was first here 13 years back playing in the World Junior Squash Championship. My best record in Pakistan was quarterfinals, but it was 7 years back, when I last played in Pakistan. At that time, I was very young, now I am looking forward to playing in higher ranked PSA tournaments in Pakistan. As the home of former champions and greats like Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan, Pakistan deserved to host PSA events sooner rather than later.”

When asked whether he feel any kind of insecurity during his visit to Pakistan, the Egyptian said he always found Pakistan a safe place whenever he visited the country. “I visited Daman-e-Koh for a dinner on the beautiful venues and I really enjoyed it a lot. I wished I could have more time to visit different places adjacent to Islamabad, but due to shortage of time, I could only visit a few one.

“But trust me wherever I had been, I really enjoyed and never feel any kind of insecurity even for a second. I must say a big thanks to Pakistani people and fans, who were in numbers at the Mushaf Squash Complex and they really appreciated and applauded us. Pakistani squash players are also good, but they have to work very hard and they badly need international exposure to excel more,” he added.

Omar said he had witnessed a few young players and Ahsan Ayaz was one of them to whom he played. “Ahsan is a good future prospect for Pakistan squash, but he needs more training, exposure and international tournaments to excel, as this is the only way of gaining experience and learning quickly. We all know that squash is very expensive sports and everyone can’t afford to spend a huge amount for featuring in the PSA events world over.

“Pakistan successfully hosted the PSA events in the past and I am quite hopeful after watching the World-V and Egypt-V exhibition squash series held successfully in Pakistan, the PSA and the WSF will consider all aspects and soon Pakistan will be allowed to host the PSA events,” he added.

When asked whether he would come again if Pakistan hosts PSA events in near future, the Egyptian replied: “Off course, I would love to visit Pakistan to take part in the PSA events. I received a lot of respect, love and hospitality here, while the accommodation and food were the best ever.”

Omar said his match against Ahsan was very competitive one, as the youngster showed a lot of potential and stretched him to the limit. “Although the youngster played very well against me, yet I used my vast experience in the end, especially in the third game, to tackle him. I feel if Pakistan provides the best facilities, PSA matches and training to some promising youngsters, they can break into top 20 or even beyond.

“Personally, I feel nothing wrong in Pakistan and I can say the PSA should allow Pakistan to conduct the PSA events, as it will be good not only good for squash but also for Pakistan, as they deserve better treatment being the rulers of squash world for decades,” he added.

“Yes, it true that in the recent past, I couldn’t maintain my ranking and the main reason behind it was too many injuries, but now I am working very hard, performing on consistent basis and hopefully, I will be able to bounce back soon and break into top 10 and beyond. I am taking back remarkable memories from Pakistan and looking forward to come back here soon,” Omar concluded.

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