MARSEILLE - Pakistan face must-win situation against Switzerland today (Wednesday) in World Team Squash Championships encounter being held her in France. Pakistan lost their first Pool A match against Egypt 3-0 and only victory over Switzerland can take them in last 16 of the event.
Pakistan are placed in Pool-A for the2017 25th WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship 2017, alongside the world number one team Egypt and world number 16 Switzerland.
Young Pakistan squash team had a one-hour long practice session at court number 5 and 6 at Modern Squash Club on Tuesday.
All the four players Farhan Zaman, Shahjahan Khan, Ammad Freed and Asim Khan participated in the practice session under the watchful eyes of the head coach Faheem Gul Khan, who looked highly confident despite losing the first match against Egypt.
Talking to The Nation, Gul said despite Egypt loss, the fight put up by his players has given him confidence of victory over Switzerland.
He said he had conducted light drills, drop shots and physical fitness sessions with Zaman and Shahjahan alongside Ammad and Asim.
“I will further access all the four players in the morning session training as we are given half an hour at 9:00am local time to train in the main championship court, which has a 5-glass wall. The training will definitely help my players, as the must win match against Switzerland will also take place at the same venue. After going though players fitness and practice levels, I will decide, who will sit out and who would be the third player.”
He said for Switzerland match they are given 1, 2 and 3 combination that suits his team. He said this combination would allow us to pit his number one player Zaman against Switzerland’s main player Nicolas Mueller and an early victory would give confidence to remaining players. He was confident of a win from Zaman as he played exceptionally well against Egypt’s Gawad despite feeling pain in his left foot. He also declared Zaman completely fit and ready to shoulder the burden of giving Pakistan crucial 1-0 lead against the Swiss .
He said he was confident that Ammad can handle the pressure while it will be tough ask to decide whom to drop between Shahjahan and Asim. “I personally feel, Asim is also playing superbly and his attitude is also highly positive. It is not about sitting out or playing. It is all about country’s respect and the reaching the last 16 and I have to go with the best to keep Pakistan hopes alive for doing well in the matches to come.”
Gul said he would also arrange a physio for the players as all the other teams have their own physios as players need to cool down and it can only be done by a professional. “We will pay for that, as federation had provided us with every possible help.”
He said his players are aware of the importance of the tie and are looking in perfect. The tie would be played in glass the glass court and replying a question Gul said Pakistan have the edge in the glass court as Zaman type of play suits glass court.
Meanwhile sharing his views from Pakistan , Pakistan Squash Federation Secretary Group Captain Tahir Sultan was highly optimistic about his players chances. He said performance of players against Egypt gave him a lot of heart and he had passed on directives to coach Faheem Gul to not to worry about finances and provide players with every available facility.
He said winning or losing doesn’t matter when you play well and the way the players handled Egyptians had made the federation very happy.
He hoped that the coach and players would devise a winning strategy to seal the last-16 place in do-or-die match .