ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan National Squash Academy (PNSA) Peshawar head coach Atlas Khan and assistant coach Tahir Iqbal vow to change the fortunes of the players and eager to provide the country squash champions.

Atlas Khan, who had not only produced world champion Jansher Khan, but also his sons Aamir Atlas, Danish Atlas, Nasir Iqbal and a number of other players, who carried forward the mission of winning laurels for the country, expressed these views during this correspondent’s visit to Hashim Khan and Janhser Khan Squash Complex.

Atlas said: “I have accepted this role as a challenge and promised myself to treat each and every kid like my sons. I have already proved that I have credentials of producing champions. Had the federation not imposed unjustified ban on my son Aamir Atlas, when he was world number 14, he could have easily broke into PSA’s top 10 and could have won a number of titles, just like he won the Asian Senior Individual Squash title after 15 years long and hard gap.

“I don’t want to mint money but want to provide Pakistan world champions who may help the country win international medals one after another. Tahir has been working very hard and I am highly satisfied with his work. He is preparing all the paper work, working on different players and our duo will surely help Pakistan regain past squash glory. In only 15 days or so, we have transformed players completely, even world champion Qamar Zaman was full of praise of our efforts and accepted that he had never witnessed such modern-day techniques before, which we are applying, while he also lauded that the players are showing positive improvements, which is very heartening,” he added.

Atlas said: “We are preparing weekly reports and spending more than an hour on each and every player from Under-11 to Under-17. We have around 7 top class juniors including Hamza, Asadullah, Noor Zaman, M Hammad while Komal and Laiba Ijaz are two talented girls, who, if properly trained and taken care, can win titles in female category. We have 16 players for the time being and we have 6 courts made available by the federation. We start training at 3pm to 6pm without any break and use of mobile.

“I will not melt down under any pressure from any quarter and only follow merit to produce champions for the country. This is a land of champions and I don’t agree with those saying the talent has dried up here. I can promise that if given time and proper facilities, we will provide world champions like Qamar, Jahangir and Jansher. I have also requested to Jansher to spare some time and visit the academy, as presence and motivation helped the players a lot,” he added.

Tahir Iqbal, who was behind producing top squash player Nasir Iqbal, said: “I feel it is my national and moral responsibility to pass on my knowledge to the generation next. I have prepared plans, discussed them with Atlas Khan and let me assure that we are capable enough to bring Pakistan squash to new heights. We need eight more courts, as we have vacant land behind the Hashim Khan Complex. The federation should construct courts, provide us with three trainers, physio and also provide facilities to the players, where they can cool down their bodies.

“We are preparing our recommendations/suggestions and as soon as we get the chance to meet with senior vice president Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi, we will present our detailed report to him. We know PSF president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman and SVP Shahid Akhtar Alvi are taking keen interest in squash promotion. They are ready to invest heavily on players and we are working with complete determination and quite sure about producing desired results,” Tahir concluded.