ISLAMABAD   -    It was once again highly poor day for Pakistan squash players in the $20,000 International Tournament, which started here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Saturday.

Besides 11 Pakistani players, 13 international players from Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Kuwait, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe are participating in the event.

In the first match of the day, Pakistan squash Federations tall claims once again met reality as after highly poor showings in the $30,000 CAS International where only Tayyab could reach the quarterfinals, Pakistani players lost their first round matches in the second event in the running, with only Ali Mujtaba Bukhari managing to beat a foreign opponent. All the rest of local players, who were playing against the foreigners, bowed out at the very first hurdle.

The PSA is charging $5000 security money from the PSF and no one in the federation seriously taking this issue as the PSA has held the PSF hostage and only allowing Pakistan to host event if federation pays additional $5000 in the name of so-called security. The PSA doesn’t charge a single penny from far more dangerous places like Egypt. Despite most recent massive terrorism act in New Zealand, the PSA allocated world junior championship hosting rights to New Zealand. If the PSF has taken up Pakistan’s case seriously, the country doesn’t has to pay $5000. Pakistani players performances are no secret to all but the federation won’t act as they are more than satisfied with finishing in rock-bottom. They are not concerned why a single Pakistani player is not in PSA top 40.

The day started in worst possible manner for local players as Israr Ahmed was thrashed by German Yannik Omlor in just 16 minutes. Israr was only recently dubbed as world champion by the federation when he managed to win world junior team title. But playing at junior level is different than playing in the main tournaments. Omlor won the first game 11-1. He took second game with same 11-1 margin and after showing some resistance, Isar lost third game 8-11 to bow out at first hurdle.

In other matches, Egyptian Karim Ali Fathi got bye; Sean Conroy (IRL) beat Zahir Shah 3-0 in 29 minutes, winning 11-8, 11-9 and 11-2; Asim Khan got bye; Ahmad Hosny (EGY) got bye; Ammar Altamimi (KUW) beat Ahmed Hassan (ZIM) 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 in 20 mins; Syed Ali Mujtaba Bukhari beat Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) 3-2 in 48 minutes, winning 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11 and 11-5; Farhan Mehboob got bye; Shehab Essam (EGY) got bye; Amaad Fareed beat Danish Atlas Khan 3-1 in 43 minutes, winning 8-11, 11-7, 11-6 and 11-7; Joeri Hapers (BEL) beat Haris Iqbal 11-2, 11-5 and 18-16 in 40 mins; Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) got bye; Mohamed ElShirbini (EGY) got bye; Chi Him Wong (HKG) beat  Haris Qasim (PAK) 11-3, 11-3, 3-11 and 11-1 in 35 mins; Omar Elkattan (EGY) beat Farhan Zaman 11-2, 11-5, 7-11 and 11-4 in 25 mins and Tayyab Aslam got bye.