ISLAMABAD - Former Asian senior individual squash champion Aamir Atlas Khan has offered his services to Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF), saying if given chance, he will change fortunes of Pakistan squash.

Talking to The Nation on Monday, Aamir said he wants the PSF to appoint him as Director of Pakistan National Squash Academy (PNSA). “I challenge the PSF to let me work freely with authority and in return, I guarantee to produce future squash champions, who will break into top 20 or even more in PSA ranking in less than one year.

“The people, who are running the PNSA, don’t have direction as they had not played professional squash before. As the PNSA has failed to produce a single champion from the last three years or so, then what is the purpose of wasting national kitty on ordinary results,” he questioned.

Aamir said that he strongly requests PSF President Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan not to pay heed towards these squash legends, who although had won titles for Pakistan, yet from almost last three decades, they have inflicted huge damages on the nation’s cause as well. “I request the PSF chief to avoid such blackmailers, as they use their influence and manage to appoint their near and dear ones in different capacities, who actually don’t know much about squash and destroying it badly,” he added.

He said: “Our country is blessed with great talent, but they are not allowed to play without any fear and different hurdles are created in their way. They are given such rough treatment by the PSF, which compels them to leave squash, which is ultimately the loss of the country. As per the Professional Squash Association (PSA) rules, coaches are not allowed to conduct refereeing in PSA tournaments, as it is a huge conflict of interest. But here, same people are hired as coaches and they are given free hand to perform refereeing duty as well.

“Players logged complaints about controversial refereeing time and again, but no heed was paid in this regard. They also suffered badly in international tournaments, as there was no one who might help them. The referees’ education is another highly important issue, as our referees cannot explain to foreign players, which is a huge embarrassment for the country. I request the PSF President to look into this matter and ensure only qualified WSF referees conducting the matches,” he added.

To a query regarding continuing as a player instead of coaching, he replied: “The people around me are fine until I am not playing or playing at low level. As soon as I start playing at higher level, they start conspiring against me, so that’s why I decided not to play again. Just like, when I helped Pakistan in winning a gold medal in Asian Games team event after a long gap, rather than getting appreciation and honour on my achievements, I was given harsh and unjustified ban.”

Talking about current talented squash players, he said: “I strongly recommend the federation to invest in Danish Atlas Khan and Nasir Iqbal, as they are future of Pakistan squash and can help the country win international medals. Nasir’s ban is about to end next year, and he is still young and can go back to top in not only national but also in PSA rankings. Danish is also a proven stuff. They want respect more than money so if provided with best facilities and maximum PSA events, they can win laurels for Pakistan.”

He requested the PSF chief to have mercy on Pakistan’s image and reputation and send Pakistan team to World Team Squash championship in USA. “As we are the proud former six-time team champions, it will be insulting for entire squash family if Pakistan team skips the event. Even if Pakistani players fail to win a single match, our team must participate and carry on the rich legacy. I don’t believe in legends advice,” Aamir concluded.