ISLAMABAD - Balochistan Squash Association (BSA) newly-elected president Saiful Islam Kakar has said that the association is ready to host $70,000 PSA tournament in Quetta.

Talking to The Nation, Saif said: “Balochistan is blessed with immense amount of talent and has already provided Pakistan so many squash world champions. But unfortunately, due to one or another reason and negligence of BSA, youth was deprived of representing the country at national and international level.”

“Soon after taking over, I have immediately started working on providing the best facilities to youth including sufficient amount of funds, construction of new squash courts, renovation/maintenance of old squash courts, providing jobs to local players and starting squash academies at Quetta and other major cities,” he added.

Saif said he had paid visits to Islamabad and met with senior vice president Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi and secretary Group Captain Tahir Sultan, who have promised him their all-out support. “I assured them that the association will stand shoulder-to-shoulder to the federation. I will appoint coaches, provide jobs, arrange maximum funds and help federation conduct training and coaching sessions in Quetta. We are ready to host the PSA tournaments in the range of $70,000 or above.

“We will also conduct national squash championship in Quetta. But for the time being, renovation/up-gradation work of squash courts is under process and as soon as it is completed, I will invite top squash players, sports journalists, SVP and secretary to Quetta to show them the facilities we have. It is also my request to Professional Squash Association (PSA) to send their representative to Quetta to see that we have completely safe and secure environment, which is perfect for playing international-level squash,” he added.

Saif said with the help of armed forces and provincial government, the terrorism menace has been rooted-out from the province and the remaining few areas would be cleared very soon. “We have a long history of producing world champions like Qamar Zaman and super stars of squash like Zubair Jahan and Zarak Jahan, while my brother was also top class player and I have also played squash.

He said he is also ready to conduct squash league where top Pakistani players will be invited to take part as without creating competitions, top class players can’t be produced. “I have assured the federation that we will not take anything from them, rather we will provide maximum raw talent through conducting talent hunt camps, national events and provincial level squash tournaments.

“Next month before Ramazan, I am planning to conduct a national tournament, where we will provide accommodation and handsome cash prizes to the players. The league can take place in Ramazan after Iftar. It is now up to the federation, if they manage to allocate the PSA tournament for Quetta, as we are ready to conduct the mega event in 15 days time. We have already completed preparations and sponsors are ready to splash out cash. I assure that all the visiting national and international players will be provided red-box security,” Saif concluded.