ISLAMABAD - Nasir Iqbal, Pakistan's lone representative in world's top 50 in PSA squash rankings, is very optimistic about his timely recovery from the liver-related injury and would be seen in action in the $25,000 Hong Kong event next month.
While talking with this scribe world number 45 Nasir said: “it was very hurting that I due to Hepatitis A could not participate in the recently-concluded National Squash Championship at Chenab Club, Faisalabad. I had worked very hard on my fitness level and was preparing well before the sudden injury, which prevented me to play the all-important event. I could have won that event and moved in top 40. But I am quite sure I would be world number 41 when PSA issues latest rankings at the end of this month.”
Nasir said he was in supreme physical condition after returning from USA and his fitness levels were sky high. “I had managed to win FMC $15,000 Circuit-I title recently held at Lahore defeating all the top players in the event. I was feeling pretty confident that I would win the Faisalabad event as well but injury deprived me and spoiled all my ambitions. Anyhow, I am taking rest these days. I still have almost a month to prepare for the Hong Kong event, where Adrian Grant of UK, who is world number 20, would join the camp, whenever Pakistan Squash Federation decides to start training camp.”
It is pertinent to mention here that Aamir Atlas Khan is new national champion after winning the national championship title, defeating Farhan Zaman.
When this correspondent contacted PSF secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz to clear the situation as there are strong rumours that after winning national title, Aamir Atlas is the new number 1 player of the country, Nawaz denied that Amir is the new number 1 player of the country. “He is only the national champion for a period of 1-year as we have decided to organize national championship every year onwards, Nawaz added. Meanwhile, Federation is yet to announce the holding of the training camp for the upcoming Asian championship where Pakistan would defend their title, which may harm Pakistan chances in the event. All the other Asian countries had already completed their homework and now they are just focusing on light exercises as they had started preparations soon after the conclusion of the Asian senior and Asian junior team events. But on the other hand The PSF is in total disarray. Instead of working on war footings, they just conducted a so-called training camp at Peshawar, organised two events at Lahore and Faisalabad (that too by the Punjab Squash Association) otherwise there is a complete silence. There is no activity what-so-ever. How on earth would it be possible for the Pakistani players to even think about playing, winning or retaining titles is a far cry? The future of Pakistan squash looks very grim. Only players extra-ordinary performances or a miracle could help Pakistan to defend their titles in senior and junior team events, otherwise it is a lost cause.