KARACHI: The Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has ordered national team members to skip any commitment they have of playing at the Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments until the upcoming Asian Champions finishes on May 5.
The PSF has placed the championship, due to be held in Islamabad from May 1, on its highest priority, saying the decision has been made so that players can focus on winning the Asian title for the country.
Meanwhile, a training camp for the event has begun in Abbottabad’s Jansher Khan Squash Complex where Nasir Iqbal, Farhan Zaman, Farhan Mehboob, Nosherwan Khan and Waqas Mehboob have already reported. Danish Atlas Khan and Amir Atlas Khan will report on Saturday.
“We’ve advised players to skip any PSA events in order to keep them focused on doing well at the Asian Championship,” national head coach Jamshed Gul told The Express Tribune. “The players are putting in a lot of effort in the month-long camp. We felt they should avoid any further commitments so that they don’t suffer burnout or get injured ahead of the tournament.”
However, Pakistan’s currently top-ranked PSA player Yasir Butt is likely to be left out of the squad and could be replaced by youngster Ali Bokhari who helped the team secure the Asian Junior Team Championship. The PSF is looking to field six players at the event in the men’s category.
‘Maria Toor will take part’
Gul also revealed the country’s top female player Maria Toor Pakay will be participating in the Asian event and will arrive from the US soon.
Four female players will be fielded including Maria, Rushna Mehboob, Samar Anjum and Saadia Gul with Riffat Khan and Faiza Zafar among the reserves.
“Maria has confirmed that she’ll be playing in the championship but it is to be seen whether she’ll join the camp or not,” the official added.
Six players given one-room stay
On the other hand, the players are not entirely satisfied with arrangements made at the Jansher Khan complex as all six participants have been forced to stay together due to shortage of accommodation.
“We’re here at a national camp and after all the tough sessions we all have to adjust in a small room which is really annoying,” said a player.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2013.