KARACHI: Pakistan’s top golfer, Shabbir Iqbal, has lamented the lack of attention being given to young talent by local sports authorities.
“I see a lot of talented golfers but they are being wasted,” Iqbal told The Express Tribune.
“There must be some support from the government for players who have the potential to make a name for Pakistan.”
While appreciating the juniors’ results at the tournament, the 2014 CNS Open championship winner stated that if the authorities were not going to utilise the present pool of players, lack of motivation would halt their play.
“These players need to be given international exposure to gain confidence to perform, as they are the future of our country.”
Pakistan’s golfing duo of Iqbal and Muhammad Munir created history in 2009 when they qualified for the World Cup held in China.
“We made it to the World Cup with good performances during the qualifiers in Malaysia ahead of the event,” recalled Iqbal. “It was a great honour.”
However, the country failed to qualify for the mega event last year, a failure which Iqbal termed an ‘expected one’, rueing the state of golf in the country that reflected the players’ performances.
“The main thing is that we don’t play much in international tournaments and lack experience at that level. Golfers worldwide play throughout the year, but we hardly manage a couple of events abroad because we have to do it at our own expense.”
Meanwhile, Munir too backed Iqbal’s concerns.
“There’s a strong need for sponsors who are not coming forward,” said Munir. “We have to spend hundreds of thousands of rupees to play an international tournament, and it’s impossible for us to feature in all the major events on our own.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2014.
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