ISLAMABAD - Pakistan squash team will leave for France today (Friday) to participate in the World Squash Team Championship to be held from June 9-14.

Farhan Mahboob, Nasir Iqbal, Farhan Zaman and Sh Saqib will represent Pakistan in the prestigious event. Pakistan is placed in pool C along with hosts France, Netherlands and Russia. Pakistan will play the first match of their pool on June 9 against Russia or Netherlands, as draws will be made after managers and coaches meeting on June 8.  Talking exclusively to The Nation on Thursday, Pakistan squash team head coach Jamshed Gul was very optimistic about the chances of his team in the event. “It is true we have a tough pool and all the opponents have some quality players in their ranks. But despite all, I am very much confident my boys are more than capable of beating any given opponent and they will play as a combined unit.”

“Farhan Mahboob is a very senior campaigner and a big match player and he always gives his best when it matters most. Nasir is also very good and same is the case with Farhan Zaman, who is fresh from a tough training tour of the US,” he added.  “I am eyeing top two finish in the pool in the first stage, then we will chalk out strategy for the next opponents accordingly. With the prayers of the nation and team in hand, our chances in the event are bright and we may land a place in the semifinals and then final too,” Jamshed claimed.

Sharing his views, Pakistan's senior most player Farhan Mahboob said: “I am quite satisfied with the available team. It might be far better if Aamir was also in the team, but all the selected players are good enough and capable of performing well in the prestigious event.”  “I want to take sweet revenge of Pakistan's last campaign in Germany, where we finished at a very disappointing 22nd. I was not well during that event and I want to help the country to erase those worst memories and perform well just like I did in Denmark, where Pakistan finished at No 5. I will definitely play my role to not only repeat that performance but to go two steps further and help the country lifting this title after a long gap,” he added.

To a query regarding who will trump card for Pakistan and play the dark horse role when it comes to crucial match, Farhan replied: “Everybody in the team is fully capable of beating any given opponent, we can't decide the opponent player. Nasir and I have to play crunch matches and that too against the top players of the opponent teams so I am sure we will not let down the country and try our best to win laurels for the country.”