ISLAMABAD    -   Former world number 35 squash player Nasir Iqbal has vowed to make a strong comeback after getting professional training in USA, as his four-year ban is set to expire early next year.

Talking to The Nation from Huston, USA, Nasir, who is also former Pakistan No 1 squash player, said: “It was almost impossible for me to train in Pakistan, which was very painful. Jahanzaib invited me to Huston to start intense training with world’s best Egyptian coach Umer Abdul Aziz. Mezan Hesham, who is in PSA top 20 rankings, is also coming to USA to train with group of selected players, while more top ranked Egyptian players are also expected to join us.

“I will join them and learn a lot from them. I am prepared to move to other cities as well, as I need top class training and coaching. In Pakistan, I am not allowed to train in courts. The players, who train with me, are threatened to stop training with me or otherwise face the ban in Peshawar. After such a harsh treatment, I have immediately accepted Jahanzaib’s offer of training in Huston, where he will provide me free accommodation, courts and training facilities,” he added.

Nasir said only his family remained right behind him throughout the four-year of his ban. “I was handed over highly unjustified ban for using banned substance and later that Indian laboratory got banned for not maintaining international standards, but no one bothered to help me out. I was playing for Pakistan, not for my personal ambitions. Had previous PSF officials taken up my case properly, the things would have been completely different.

“The people were not against me, instead they were against Pakistan squash. Our own people became part of Indian conspiracy, otherwise, I could have been saved from such harsh ban. My past was crystal clear as I never used anything, which is against norms of sports. I ran from pillar to post to seek justice, but no one was even ready to listen to my side of story,” he asserted.

He said: “The most pinching thing for me is that the federation left me in the cold. A few players told me that the federation was in a fear that Nasir will comeback from the ban and once again he will scale down new heights. It was so much disturbing, such examples are only heard in Pakistan. I was given such a rash treatment that I was completely humiliated and barred from training and using courts. If I was facing WADA ban, even then there is no rule to bar me from entering courts and stopping me from training. Squash is my life and I am about to complete my ban and keen to make a very strong comeback.”

“I am perfectly in shape and I want to say a big thanks to my coach and elder brother Tahir Iqbal Khan, who never let me down and kept on motivating me to be a fighter and make a powerful comeback. The basic aim of moving to USA is to regain fitness level and train with top professionals.

“I have to come back to Pakistan, if National Games are held and will again return to USA. In case Games are called off, then I will stay back and continue my training. It is highly crucial stage of my career as I am still young and I know within few months, I will be back in the top PSA players’ rankings and once again, I would love to represent my country and play major role in helping Pakistan win major titles,” Nasir concluded.