LAHORE                 -             Former Pakistan Davis Cupper Rashid Malik has lauded the government for awarding cash prizes to the national players, who won medals in the 13th South Asian Games 2019 in Nepal.

Talking to The Nation, Malik, who remained Pakistan Davis Cup captain for a long time, said: “When I played two SAF Games in 1991 and 1993 and won one silver and four bronze medals for the country, the government and the Sports Minister at that time did not reward us with any cash prize. But I must appreciate Prime Minister Imran Khan and IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza for giving incentives to all the sportspersons who won medals. This initiative is a great encouragement for our players and will make them work harder.

“Our Prime Minister Imran Khan, who himself is a sportsman, knows well how much hard work and budget is required to become a champion. I would personally request the government that they should also encourage the coaches, who are working very hard with team members to keep the country’s flag high, as it will further help the players win more laurels for the country,” he added.

Malik, who is also General Secretary of Punjab Lawn Tennis Association (PLTA), said: “As a player, I represented Pakistan for almost 15 years while as a coach, I served the country for almost 25 years. We should give more cash prizes to our players so that they may work harder and try to give out their best to produce medal winning performances in international events.

“I am proud that after my retirement, I stayed back in this country to give my knowledge to all the top players and to our juniors. Coaches work very hard to groom their students so that one day they may represent Pakistan in international events as well as mega events like Olympics, Commonwealth Games, South Asian Games and Davis Cups,” he asserted.

“This is a humble request that the government should take care of coaches of all games so that they can keep working harder and keep producing champions. Once again, I would like to appreciate the government, especially Prime Minister Imran Khan and IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza, for this excellent initiative of rewarding the medal winning players as this will help the country in the longer run and boost the players morale and encourage them to win more and more glories for the country across the globe,” Malik concluded.