Pakistan number one Aamir Atlas’ late inclusion in the team bound for the Men’s World Team Squash Championship has been welcomed by the country’s leading players.
According to Yasir Butt, who was chosen by the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) to lead the team in the event that kicks off from August 21 in Germany, Atlas’ presence will give the players an extra bout of motivation for better results at the event.
The PSF had earlier selected Butt, Waqar Mehboob, Nasir Iqbal and Hamzah Shah Bukhari to represent the country in the event, despite none of the players being in the top 100, making it one of the weakest Pakistani teams to have been selected for the championship.
However, Atlas’ inclusion in place of Bukhari has given a fresh lease of life to Pakistan’s chances at the tournament, according to Butt.
“I’ve said before that we needed Atlas to play in this event,” Butt told The Express Tribune. “Having a player who is currently world number 23 will help us as it’ll improve our seeding. This has made us more confident as a team. I’m more motivated now because I feel that we can at least reach the semi-final stage and benefit from Atlas’ experience.”
Previously, Butt had said that the PSF should have considered Atlas for the championship despite the six month-ban that was imposed on him in January. Atlas recently climbed five spots in the international rankings after a string of good performances at various tournaments.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.