ISLAMABAD  -  Former world squash champion Jansher Khan hopes that Pakistan sports especially squash will get huge boost in the tenure of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Talking to The Nation, Jansher said the situation is alarming and there are highly drastic steps needed by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) to promote squash at grassroots level. “I hope PM Imran Khan and Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza will pay full attention towards resumption of full-fledged international sports in the country and also help Pakistan squash regain its lost glory.

“The government should work in collaboration with Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to find fresh squash talent and provide them with modern-day training under top professional coaches at the Pakistan National Squash Academies working in major cities of Pakistan. There is no dearth of squash talent in the country but the only need is to find and groom raw talent and turn them into champions,” he added.

Congratulating Imran Khan on becoming 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan, the squash legend said: “It is good luck of Pakistani athletes that a sportsman like Imran Khan has taken over the highest office of the country and he will definitely assure his all-out support to sports and athletes.”

He said he had won every given title in squash and only he can feel the pain of watching Pakistani players falling to new lows with each passing day. “There was a time when we never considered Asian Games gold seriously and winning the team and individual title were like peanuts to us. But now it hurts badly when Pakistani players fail to do well in even Asian Games and hardly won bronze medal in team event.”

Jansher urged PM to call a meeting of the legends and discuss in detail the solutions of Pakistan sports woes. “For me, right man for the right job is the best and viable solution to cope with present situation. When international medals in almost every sports is hard to collect, I have a lot of plans, which can help Pakistan start winning international medals. “For squash too, my plans will help the players and federation and they too will start earning medals gradually,” he added.

Jansher also lauded the PM’s initiative of launching new sports channel of PTV, on which other sports will also be broadcast live. “It will boost the players’ morale and surely bear fruit for Pakistan sports.”

He hoped that keeping in mind the request made by him regarding funds, the PM and IPC Minister will play their maximum role to increase funds for squash and other sports as well. “More junior and senior tournaments will be organised in Pakistan and new talent will be brought forth eventually leading to develop youth’s interest in squash.”

He also lauded the PSF and PAF for conducting Chief of Air Staff International men’s and women’s tournament in Islamabad, in which players from across the world are taking part. “Through these tournaments, Pakistani players can learn a lot, exhibit their prowess and make the country proud by winning titles for it,” Jansher concluded.”