An injection of funds is what Pakistan squash needs in order to force the revival of the sport once ruled by the Khans, according to new head coach Jamshed Gul.
Gul, who was previously coaching in Malaysia, replaced Jansher Khan after the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) opted to part ways with the former World and British Open champion, who is reportedly suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Gul, though, made it quite clear that unless the government increases funding in the sport, turning around Pakistan's fortunes would be a huge ask.
"We all want the revival of the game but that's not possible without substantial funding," Gul, who is currently supervising a training camp in Islamabad, told The Express Tribune.
The Islamabad camp
The camp is being attended by Farhan Mehboob, Waqas Mehboob, Nasir Iqbal, Farhan Zaman, Bilal Zakir, Owais Khan – all hailing from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – while Sheikh Saqib, Ali Bukhari, Syed Aslam and Hammad Fareed are representatives from Punjab. Danish Atlas will join the camp when he returns to Pakistan.
According to Gul, the camp, which goes on till March 9, will have special emphasis laid on the players' fitness. The attendees are being trained keeping the Asian Seniors event, which starts in May, and the World Junior Championship, scheduled for July, in mind.
"This is just a general camp where we're working on improving the technical and physical side of the players. A specialised camp will start later when certain individuals will be called upon for targeted training."
In the absence of Pakistan's top-ranked Aamir Atlas, who has been banned by the PSF, Pakistan's hopes will rest on Farhan Mehboob for the Asian event.
Players need to be
Gul also lauded the abundance of talent in Pakistan, terming the country having better prospects than Malaysia.
"The raw talent in Pakistan is sublime, which was not the case in Malaysia. Their players are really dedicated and committed to the cause on hand where as our players lack commitment and we need to overcome that if we are to reign again."
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2012.
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