Farhan Mehboob has said that he will not appear in selection trials for the four-member Pakistan squad for the Asian Team Championship, saying that he will sacrifice his participation in the mega event to keep his self-respect intact.
The Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has decided to hold trial matches, under the supervision of head coach Jamshed Gul from March 12 to finalise the national squad for the upcoming Asian Championship to be held in May.
However, Farhan, who is currently Pakistan’s top player following bans on Aamir Atlas Khan, Waqar Mehboob and Yasir Butt, believes it is a humiliating gesture by the federation.
“In the absence of the banned trio, there’s no one of my calibre,” Farhan told The Express Tribune. “Despite that, the PSF wants me to give trails to prove my worth.
“I would rather skip the Asian Championship with a heavy heart than sacrifice my self-respect.”
Farhan, who is currently ranked number eight in Asia, said that he won a gold medal in the Team Championship at the Asian Games and a silver in the individual category but those achievements have been neglected.
“Top players are respected in other countries but it’s different in Pakistan. I have refused lucrative offers to play abroad but I won’t bear injustice now.”
It has been learnt that Abdul Wahab Marwat, who is the PSF secretary, also asked Farhan’s father Mehboob Khan to send his son but the effort proved futile as well.
‘Trials being held for a fair chance’
Meanwhile, Gul tried calming the situation, saying that the trials are being held so that everyone gets a proper chance to make their case stronger for the Asian berth.
“We need to field a top player because international rankings play a big part in such events. Players like Farhan, Danish Atlas, Sheikh Saqib Yousuf and Nasir Iqbal are likely to make the final squad but the rest have a chance as well.
“Farhan has got the edge over others so the trials do not really matter too much for him.”
Meanwhile, Waqar Mehboob’s ban will end on March 28 but he will not be a part of the Pakistan squad since, according to Gul, the PSF has to nominate names by March 25.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2012.