Pakistan juniors eye fifth squash title

Four-member team leaves for world championships in Namibia.

Nabeel Hashmi August 06, 2014

KARACHI: Four-time World Junior Team Champions Pakistan will be looking to add a fifth crown to their record as the national team left on Wednesday to participate in the global event to be held in Windhoek, Namibia.

The World Junior Individual and Team Championships will be played from August 10 to 21 simultaneously.

The Pakistan team comprises skipper Tayyab Aslam, Ali Bokhari, Asim Khan and Israr Ahmed who will participate in the individual event too.

Tayyab, who recently won the Asian Junior title, is confident that the players have what it takes to become champions.

“We have got a very good squad that can fight for the title in the team championship,” Tayyab told The Express Tribune.

“Much of the responsibility will rest on me and Bokhari, because we’ve been playing for quite some time in the junior circuit and we’re expected to win our matches throughout.

But at the same time, if either of us loses, Asim or Israr will be required to step up.”

In the last two consecutive editions in 2010 and 2012, Egypt ended Pakistan’s hopes in the final and the team had to settle for the runners-up spot.

However, Tayyab believes that they are ready to break the jinx and make their presence felt.

“If we want to end up as the best we have got to beat the best, even if it is Egypt. Our preparation is good and we’ll try to utilise all our experience and preparation to make the country proud,” said Tayyab.

He further said that while the players also have good chances of doing well at the individual event, the draw of the event can play a big part.

PSF snubs Gul in shocking move

Interestingly, the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has decided to send former player Gogi Allauddin with the team instead of head coach Jamshed Gul, who has helped Pakistan win several championships.

It was Gul who headed the team’s camp and helped the players prepare for the mega event, but he was overlooked in favour of Allauddin after alleged pressure from the Punjab Squash Association.

Gul has helped Pakistan produce titles ever since he took over three years ago, and has put Pakistan squash back on track.

When contacted, the
PSF officials were unable to provide a reason for excluding Gul.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2014.

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