ISLAMABAD-Waqar Mehboob stunned Israr Ahmad on the first day of the trials for 19th Asian Senior Individual Squash Championship to be held in Chennai, India from April 26 to 30.

Israr was brought down on earth by Waqar Mehboob 3-1, with scores of 11-2, 11-6 and 11-9, while Tayyab Aslam survived close scare before beating junior Ahsan Ayaz 3-2, winning 11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 8-11 and 12-10 and Asim Khan beat Ammad Fareed 3-1, 15-13, 11-9, 10-12 and 11-5.

It was pertinent to mention here that the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has already selected two players Farhan Mehboob and Farhan Zaman to represent the country in the said tournament. Interestingly as per rules, only two players from each country are allowed to participate in the event. The PSF has given exemption to two top players Farhan Mehboob and Farhan Zaman, who just arrived from USA, while Nasir Iqbal, Tayyab Aslam, Ammad Fareed, Asim Khan and Israr came from USA to feature in the trials, while the two slots have already filled.

But PSF honorary secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz claimed that the federation would manage to add two more players’ name in the team. “We are hopeful that like past, we will be able to have two more players for the event, but in case, they deny, both Farhans will represent the country. Faheem Gul, Asif Khan and Sajjad Khan are conducting the trials,” he said.

When asked why Nasir kept away despite arriving from USA and what about his current status, Amir said: “The WSF has given Nasir clean chit to play wherever he wants, but he didn’t turn up for trials for yet. Shahjahan Khan also didn’t appear in the trials. Both Farhans are our top players and they deserve exemption.” About realistic chances of Pakistani players in the mega Asian event, he said: “Mehboob is playing his best squash while Zaman is also playing at the highest level. Both of these players have beaten top ranked players and we are hopeful they will deliver and earn glories for their country.”

Asked when the unjust ban imposed on Pakistan to host PSA events to be lifted, Amir replied: “Jahangir Khan and I had wonderful meeting with Sports Risk Management representative Reg Dickason and we termed the ban highly unjust and out of context. We also reminded about recent 6 PSA events last year we have conducted successfully and foreign players were more than happy about security arrangements here.

“Reg ruled out that Pakistan is being targeted and termed other countries are also on high risk watch. He wanted us to submit detailed security plan and risk cut measures report, which we will submit in three-week time and hopefully the ban will be lifted soon. Our plan will not be disturbed by ban as squash calendar starts from September,” he added.