Pakistan players have bigger challenges waiting: Jansher Khan

Squash legend believes Asian championship is just the first step.

Nabeel Hashmi May 06, 2013
Jansher feels Aamir’s win at the Asian Individual Squash Championship should be treated as the first step towards bigger goals. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Squash legend Jansher Khan, one of the greatest players to grace the game, has said that Aamir Atlas Khan’s win at the Asian individual championship is the first step towards Pakistan getting ready to compete against more prominent players.

Khan explained that, while the Asian Championship held its own importance, Pakistan players would face their real test against European and Egyptian players which required them to work even harder.

“Aamir’s triumph is good news for the country but there are bigger challenges which are waiting ahead,” Khan told The Express Tribune. “Our main test will be against English and Egyptian players because the standard in Asia is not up to par and our players are already better than other Asian players irrespective of their rankings.”

The 43-year-old, who has now recovered from Parkinson’s Disease, won the World Open a record eight times with an additional six British Opens to his credit. Khan’s feats did not stop there as he also went onto remain world number one for nearly six years.

Squash has evolved over time: Khan 

Meanwhile, Khan said that the game of squash has evolved with time, becoming faster as it now demands better fitness and instead of increasing their workout, Pakistan players have neglected the area.

“We used to train for hours and hours but these players can’t train for a long stretch of time,” said Khan. “If they want to be included among the top 10 players of the world, they must put in extra effort otherwise they will end up winning only small Professional Squash Association tournaments in their careers.”

When Khan was questioned about the importance of lengthy physical training in making players better, he replied that physically-demanding training along with competitive game time would benefit them.

‘Need to be strong both mentally and physically’

Khan also pointed out Aamir and Farhan Mehboob as capable players in the country, but being talented was not enough nowadays, adding that it was about survival of the fittest — both mentally and physically.

“There is the World Open and British Open which Pakistan players should win and that for me would be a real achievement.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2013.


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