Lahore   -  Madina Zafar and Faiza Zafar, known as Zafar sisters, have vowed to take Pakistan women squash to new heights by winning laurels for the country globally.

Both the sisters have been dominating Pakistan women squash these days and won a number of titles including recently-held international squash events in Islamabad and Lahore and they are keen to win more titles and honours for the country at international level.

Talking to The Nation, Madina, who recently won the SNGPL Pakistan International Squash title by beating her younger sister Faiza, said: “In the previous international squash event in Islamabad, although I was runner-up but I wasn’t satisfied with my performance, so I trained very hard and was eager to win the next event, so my hard work, training and dedication paid off with this title victory.”

Both sisters have good relations off the field but when it comes to court, they are great rivals. “We are not only sisters but also good friends but in the courts, we are big rivals and we fight till the end to ear top honour. In Islamabad event, Faiza didn’t give me a chance to deliver but this time in Lahore, I didn’t allow her to dictate terms and finished number one.”

Both the sisters have won one international event each in Pakistan and now they are going to exhibit their prowess in the third international women squash event in Karachi. “The Karachi draw is very tough as there will be a good number of promising girls vying against each other, we are training hard and preparing well for it and hopefully, we’ll once again be finalists while I am eager to defend my title.”

About her performance in Commonwealth Games and preparation for Asian Games, Madina said: “Commonwealth was my second international tour and I was satisfied with my performance as I think I gave out my best against the best in the business, who had far better training than us, yet we played well against them.

“As far as preparation for Asian Games is concerned, I am training very hard. Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) is providing us best training and supporting us well. I hope me and my teammates will do well in the Asian Games and try to win laurels for the country,” she said.

“Like men, women players should also be given contracts by the PSF, so that they may also focus on their games while the federation should also arrange long camps of at least 6 to 8 months for mega events like Asian Games, Commonwealth and other international events,” she added.

Sharing her views, Faiza said the federation has provided the best training to women players throughout Ramzan for Asian Games and soon after Karachi event, the camp will restart, which will surely help them prepare well for the Games.

Faiza, who won international women squash title in Islamabad by beating Madina, said: “In Lahore, my semifinal against Riffat Khan was very tough which made me tired and gave opportunity to my sister to dominate me and win the final. But I am confident that I will perform exceptionally in Karachi event and try my bets to win the title.”

She said the best thing of hosting international squash events in Pakistan is that they are helping women players in improving their international rankings. “Women players get lesser chances than men’s to play international events and improve their world rankings, so hosting such world ranking events have provided every local player to give out their best performance and improve their international rankings. I have also improved my rankings which will get further boost in Karachi event and it will also help us in Asian Games draws.”

“Our parents especially our father motivated us a lot that’s why we – sisters - have been excelling in squash and we have big dreams ahead. I hope with support of our parents and Pakistan Squash Federation, we’ll not only make the difference at international level but also win glories for the country and take Pakistan women squash to new heights,” Faiza concluded.



Azhar Khan