LAHORE - Former Davis Cupper Tayyab Iftikhar has submitted desperate appeal to Sorts Minister Jahangir Khanzada for immediate financial help of Rs 500,000 on emergency basis for the national cause to prevent hard-earned world ranking of Samir Iftikhar decline.

Tayyab, who is a dejected father and coach of talent player Samir, said: “The immediate grant will help Samir cope with the current situation, and enable him train and get ready for tough Pakistan vs Thailand Davis Cup tie to be held from September 22.”

He said his appeal was also pending with Punjab CM-appointed six-member committee. It is pertinent to mention here that US-based and groomed Samir Iftikhar along with Abid Ali Akbar are only two Pakistan tennis players on virtue of their game level hold professional ATP World Ranking and are representing Pakistan on ATP professional circuit with world ranking of 1525 and where as last month, Samir following his first cousin footsteps earned distinction as country’s second player since 2000 after Aisam-ul-Haq to qualify and reach the second round of ITF $25,000 Championship in USA defeating three times higher-ranked seasoned professionals despite having only seven ATP tournaments in his belt for past two years.

Talking to this scribe, Tayyab said: “I have exhausted all my resources to bring my son at this level and now his future and dream of representing Pakistan at Grand Slam and Wimbledon by 2019 is in the hands of prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, who have pledged categorically that sportsmen like Samir, who bring laurels to the country internationally, will be responsibility of government to help achieve their goals.” To a query regarding Punjab government’s steps towards promotion of sports and its pending appeal with CM, he said: “The Punjab CM is taking revolutionary reforms for youth and promotion of sports in the province by introducing Khadem-e-Aala talent hunt program. The newly-appointed minister of sports and DG sports are trying their best to carry his vision.

“The CM has constituted 6-member high-power committee to review my appeal on national cause and their members are sports minister Jahangir Khanzada, DG Sports, Secretary Sports, sports steering chairman Hanif Abbassi, Shiza Fatima and Rana Fawad, who will preside and review my 7 point presentation and submit recommendations to the CM.

“I am sure these notable persons after reviewing my presentation will surely recommend Samir so that he may fulfill his dream of winning medals for the country,” he added.