ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has started training camps for male and female players at Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex under the command of head coach Jamshed Gul Khan while coach Faheem Gul, Sajjad and Safeer of PAF are assisting him.

Secretary PSF Group Captain Amir Nawaz Monday said 10 female and 8 male players were invited for training camp, which would continue till June just before the start of the 17th Asian Squash Team Championship which would take place in in Hong Kong from June 10 to 15.

“We are the reigning defending champions of male category and are giving top most priority to male players for successful title defence. We are also focusing on winning the female title as well and giving special attention to female players to bring them at par with opponent teams and we have ample time to prepare female players for the mega event.”

He said the PSF had also invited junior players as well who would be benefitted while playing alongside senior players and Pakistan Sports Board was providing free accommodation and food to the players as well as paying salaries to the coaches and the PSF was grateful for this kind gesture of the PSB. Amir said the more than two-month long camp would cost federation around 5 million in total. “We are already facing financial hazards. It is my humble request to the PSB to immediately release our annual grant so we could run camp in smooth manner without the fear of funds. We had also requested government to provide federation with sufficient amount of funds as this is a very important year for Pakistan Squash. We have to defend titles and also had to take part in number of Asian level and world level events, including World Juniors.”

He said Asian Junior Individual championship will start from June 22 to 26 in Iran where Syed Ali Mujtaba Bukhari is the defending champion. “Then we had to participate in World Junior Individual Championship starting from August 10 to 15 in Namibia. Then it would be the turn of men’s junior team championship also in Namibia from August 16 to 21. After that Pakistan players will participate in another mega event 17th Asian Games in men’s individual, women’s individual, men’s team event and women’s team categories starting from September 19 to October 4 in South Korea. We have a long list of competitive action. Federation alone can’t bear all these heavy expenses. We need timely help from government as well as private sector to make the Pakistan’s participation in these events possible.”

He said Aamir Atlas and Danish Atlas are currently playing in Kuwait and would soon join the camp alongside Farhan Mehboob, Farhan Zaman and Nasir Iqbal. “We have a very strong and competitive group of players. We have also shortlisted six players after conducting U-19 trials. Israr and Asim are the most talented of the lot and federation on the directives of senior vice president Air Vice Marshal Syed Razi Nawab has decided to invest on these lads for the next 6-months. Players would get hard court training, lectures on physical fitness, mental toughness, diet and how to keep fit their bodies during and after the competitive matches,” Amir concluded.