ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) Monday announced to conduct $30,000 Serena Hotels Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) International for men and $10,000 Serena Hotels Pakistan International Squash Tournament for women here at Mushaf Squash Complex from September 10 to 14.

“Our players had no international rankings to feature in $10,000 or above events, as they could take part in only $5000 events, so the federation conducted three super series tournaments in Pakistan, which enabled them to get PSA ranking points and now they are able to play in these tournaments,” said Pakistan National Squash Academy (PNSA) Director Air Commodore (R) Aftab Ahmed Qureshi during a press conference here at Serena Hotels on Monday.

Aftab said that top men and women players from Austria, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iran, Malaysia, Netherland and Thailand are taking part in the tournaments and Pakistani players will also be seen in action. “We are hoping that our players will deliver and win for the country.

“We are also grateful to Serena Hotels for joining hand with the PSF and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) as title sponsor. For the last three years, they have been sponsoring the CAS International Squash Championship. We heartily appreciate the ‘sports diplomacy initiative’ as shared by Serena Hotels as their integral part to build stronger relations with communities,” he added.

“It is expected that with the generous and regular support of our worthy sponsors including Serena Hotels, the PSF would attain multiple gains from this mega squash activity. This would project soft and safe image of Pakistan to lure international bodies to increase Pakistan’s due share of international tournaments,” Aftab said.

He said the federation can only provide facilities, PSA tournaments, coaching but it can’t produce champions. “The players have to play according to their strengths. The PSF is absolutely not happy the way Pakistan team performed in the Asian Games individual and team events as the federation was expecting at least team to play in the final. Although Hong Kong was strong, but our team could have 50 percent chances of defeating them.”

The PNSA Director said Pakistan had ruled the squash world for four decades. “Pakistani players need work hard and give out their best in international events to win laurels for the country. Our academies are working day and night to help the players, but they are not responding the way they should. We are working on juniors, who have won lot of gold medals in recent tournaments. Gradually, the federation is implementing plans, which will yield results shortly.

“We had provided 19 tournaments to our male and female players at home soil while we also convinced the WSF and the PSA to allocate more tournaments to Pakistan. The PSF can’t conduct only DG Rangers in Karachi this year, while the Pakistan Open will be held this year. The PSA has awarded tournaments to other cities like Lahore and Karachi, while we are also working on having a tournament in Peshawar and Quetta as well,” Aftab concluded.