Islamabad - Pakistan’s top female squash player Sadia Gul has said that if provided with international-standard facilities, training and tour abroad, Pakistani females can win laurels for the country.  Talking to The Nation, Sadia said: “I have prepared very hard during hour-long training sessions both at Peshawar and Islamabad. I had been to Malaysia but unfortunately, I fell ill, but I did participate in two back-to-back events there, but couldn’t perform due to weakness.”

“The main objective of playing in the PSA events is obviously to improve my PSA rankings, which will help me direct entry in top PSA events and also help me in gaining international exposure, which Pakistani females badly required. It is quite heartening that the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) is taking keen interest in holding top PSA events in Pakistan, but on the other hand, it is quite disheartening that there are almost zero PSA events for females in Pakistan.

“Females are by no means any lesser than male players, but we don’t have even handful opportunities to showcase our skills. Only Bahria Town conduct a high-profile female event, while DG Rangers is another major ranking tournament for females, otherwise, we have to wait for months to get a chance to participate in any high-profile event in the country. Even female teams are not selected for major team events, which is also very discouraging,” she added.

“I know the federation has limited resources, but we don’t demand equal number of PSA events like male, but at least 4 to 5 PSA events should be held for females, who are also very talented. The players like Riffat Khan, Sammar Anjum, Madina sisters and others have been serving Pakistan squash and also looking for equal treatment from the PSF, which the federation offers to male players,” Sadia said.

“If the PSF starts working on conducting the PSA events for females, I can assure that we are more than capable of beating any top PSA player. , like we had done so many times in different Asian level team events and helped Pakistan record impressive victories. Maria Toor is the prime example, as she resides abroad and has ample opportunities of playing in the PSA events, which helps her a lot in climbing to top 50 in PSA rankings. If other Pakistani females will be provided with financial assistance and sent abroad for PSA events and team events on regular basis, they can also achieve top rankings and climb PSA ladders swiftly,” she added.

Sadia said she had to depend on her family, especially her father invest heavily on fulfilling her dream of breaking into top PSA player and win laurels for country. “All females can’t afford same liberty, as Sammer and Riffat also appear in PSA events in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India but we can’t afford to play in Europe or USA or other countries, but can only afford to play in nearer countries as it cost cheaper and affordable for us.”

“It is my humble request to PSF president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman to direct senior vice president Air Vice Marshal (R) Syed Razi Nawab and honorary secretary Group Captian Amir Nawaz to pay attention towards female squash as well, arrange training camps under top coaches for females exclusively and provide us with financial assistance so that we may also play in the PSA events abroad, while international events must also be conducted in Pakistan, as it will give us experience and exposure, and we will also start excelling at international level,” she concluded.