KARACHI: Former world number two Qamar Zaman has predicted a weak show by Pakistan in the World Squash Team Championship starting next week in Germany.
The Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has named Aamir Atlas, Yasir Butt, Nasir Iqbal and Waqar Mehboob to represent the country in the men’s senior event that features 32 nations. Atlas and Butt took part in the event two years ago where they finished fifth, Iqbal and Waqar will be making their championship debut.
According to the former PSF vice-president, introducing two new players will hurt the team’s performance and the federation should have given Farhan Mehboob a second chance. The Pakistan number two failed to perform in the trials due to illness and was overlooked for the event.
“It will be a miracle if they end their campaign in the top eight,” Zaman told The Express Tribune. “Two senior players cannot balance the team, they needed Farhan since he’s participated in the championship before. He wasn’t well at the time of trials and I think the PSF should have reviewed their policy on this matter.
“Right now the team is seeded 12th. If Farhan was there, they could have easily been eighth and would have gotten an easier draw. But now they need to beat England, Australia and Egypt in the second round of the tournament which will be tough for the team.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan coach and manager Irfan Asghar has said that the team is well-prepared to beat any side in the tournament.
Pakistan will compete against Austria, Denmark and Malaysia in Pool E. In 2009, Pakistan finished fifth while Egypt clinched the championship with France and Australia taking silver and bronze respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2011.
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