KARACHI: The ongoing Asian Squash Masters event and the presence of former greats in Pakistan will help the sport’s revival in the country, according to the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) Vice-President Qamar Zaman.
Legends including Geoff Hunt, David Palmer, Jonathan Power, Ross Norman and Ramy Ashour are currently in Pakistan at the invitation of the PSF in order to support the return of international sports events in the country. Zaman said that their presence will go a long way in helping restore Pakistan’s image as a safe destination for big sporting events.
“They’re all champions, some of the biggest names in squash, and I’m sure their presence will send out a strong message that Pakistan is safe for hosting international sports,” Zaman told The Express Tribune. He added that the PSF aims to do everything possible to bring squash back to Pakistan.
Zaman also said that Ashour’s presence is a massive boost for the federation.
“Ashour belongs to the current crop which adds weight and credibility to our case. It shows not only the former greats want to come here, but even the current big names would love to play in Pakistan.”
He stressed that the international sports fraternity needs to understand that even the sponsors have stopped supporting players and federations because of the lack of international sporting activity in the country.
Norman feels safe in Pakistan
Meanwhile, Norman said that he feels great to be in Pakistan and does not feel threatened, despite the negative image of the country worldwide.
“I feel great to be in Pakistan because I’ve always felt good here,” he said. “I also have fond memories of this place playing with its top players during my time.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.