ISLAMABAD - Former world number two squash player and coach of arguably the most decorated player squash had ever witnessed – Jansher Khan, Mohibullah Khan Wednesday said future of squash in Pakistan is highly bright and he can produce champions in every category.
“I am thankful to Acting Director General Pakistan Sports Board Arif Ibrahim for conducting renovation work of PSB Peshawar squash courts and spending Rs 2.8 million. Now the courts are in perfect shape and around 25 juniors are training.”
He if Arif works for the PSB for 2 to 3 years, he was am sure that Arif will turnaround the fortunes of sports and the PSB will become highly functional. “I was requesting Director PSB, Peshawar for last several years to pay heed towards pathetic situation of both squash courts available at Peshawar centre but nothing happened. As soon as Arif took over the affairs of the PSB, he without wasting time ordered renovation/maintenance work and now I request him and sports journalists to pay visit to Peshawar and check how much players are happy and enjoying squash.”
He said he lost the British Open and World Open finals against Geoff Hunt, while he had won every other major title and above all, he produced the formidable champion in great Jansher, who is also my youngest brother.
He said the PSB Peshawar has enough space and they can easily construct at least two more squash courts, which will ensure the home of champions can produce more and more champions. “I am personally thankful to DG Arif Ibrahim for giving me two years extension as head coach, Peshawar.”
He said he had coached Maria Toor Pakai, Nasir Iqbal and number of other top class players, while was still capable of repeating so but for this he needs freedom and authority. “I don’t agree with the argument given by few certain individuals that squash is dead and buried in Pakistan. It is not true, not the actual situation. It is true that current situation is not satisfactory but it is only matter of time. If right man for the right job is introduced and all the past greats, who are sitting either at homes or left Pakistan, are once again involved, I had very little doubt about the talent Pakistan possesses. We can start countrywide talent hunt programmes. We have the courts available in entire country. We have best coaches who if properly utilised can still do wonders for players and country.”
Mohib also requested the DG to restart not only giving juniors one racket, a pair of shoes, balls and Rs 500 stipend but also raise that bar from one to two rackets, two pair of shoes, balls and at least Rs 2000 monthly stipend as it would encourage the juniors to start playing squash.
He said Imran Khan has sworn in as prime minister and being a sportsman, he can understand athletes problems much better than any other individual. “All the squash players and other athletes had pinned high hopes with Imran. I request him to conduct a meeting with former players, coaches and Pakistan Squash Federation representatives. We can easily find the solution to the root cause of the problems and easily can address them.”
Mohib said recent performances of Pakistani players were not even close to what was expected from them as the federation had invested a great deal in them and after long time it had been witnessed female players were given too much importance by the present management.
He suggested appointing the right persons from the right job if the federation wants to get the best out of these players. “We don’t have presently female players available at Peshawar centre due to high pressure of players. If two more courts are constructed, we could easily pay huge attention towards girls as well. I am sure DG PSB and government will look into my request and soon courts construction work will start,” Mohib concluded.