ISLAMABAD - Pakistan junior squash team comprising Tayyab Aslam, Ali Bokhari, Asim Khan and Israr Ahmed along with coach Gogi Alluddin and manager Group Captain Amir Nawaz will depart today (Wednesday) to Namibia to take part in the World Junior Team and Individual Squash Championship commencing from August 10.

Talking to this scribe, Amir said: “The players were practicing in Lahore and they are in complete shape. I am quite confident they will perform well and play according to their potentials. I will attend managers’ meeting on August 8.”

When this scribe asked Amir, was he fully prepared to handle the situation he could face in the managers’ meeting, as few unanimous emails were sent to World Squash Federation (WSF) regarding players age and he was likely to face very tough time, he replied: “I am not aware of any emails sent to the WSF, but if there is any case, I have full documentary proof regarding my players’ age. I will take up the issue and will not back off from my principle stance. I am dead sure the WSF will listen to my arguments and will not decide on suspicious evidences. If they try to implement any unwanted decision, I am not going to accept that. It is the reputation of the WSF which will be on stake. We are the home of world champions and know rules and regulations better than others. If anybody tries to dictate terms, he should be prepared for the consequences.”

Pakistan junior team is facing one of the toughest tests, as last time, the WSF tried to play their cards, but failed to get desired results. Even then Danish was prevented from playing in the team event and this time, the WSF led by Indian Ramachandaran, who wants to take revenge of his nominees humiliating defeat in the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) elections, when Razi Nawab won the vice president slot right under the nose of him, he wants to inflict maximum damages on Pakistan and his task was made easier by the black sheep in Pakistan, who, without realizing the consequences, provided stuff to the WSF.

It is quite interesting that Ramachandaran wants age scrutiny for Pakistani players while on the other hand, Indian players, who are since long playing junior events, are given free hand. Pakistan junior players are playing in U-19 level for the last 18 months or so, but Indian players are playing in that category for the last three years or so. Ramachandaran must first implement rules and regulations on his own players then pass on to other players and countries. The WSF must prove its credentials as autonomous and non-biased body, rather than playing in the hands of Ramachandaran and people like him.

It is the moral and national duty of the PSF to thoroughly investigate the matter as who are these culprits, who have badly hampered the reputation of the country and put careers of the juniors on stake just to settle personal scores. Instead of taking stern action against those culprits and launch a full-fledge investigation into the entire episode, the federation is taking the entire matter very causally. The PSF has missed simple trick as they had a chance to raise objections on other teams and their players but they failed to utilise the chance. While other countries such as India, Malaysia, Egypt Hong Kong and others have completed their homework. Pakistan is likely to face stiff resistance and there is every possibility, the WSF stops the entire team from playing in individuals and team event.

The situation is very tricky and Amir Nawaz will find it really difficult to tackle the situation. There was a need of sending someone who enjoys international cordial relations and use his good offices to calm down situation and turn into Pakistan favour, which now looks highly unlikely under current circumstances and only a miracle can save players blushes in the mega event.