ISLAMABAD - Pakistan were hammered 3-0 on the inaugural day of the Pakistan-V vs Egypt-V series, which started here at Mushaf Squash Complex Saturday.

The result also exposed all the tall claims of the Pakistan Squash Federation regarding over the moon training and super Mario coaches as Egyptians badly exposed the weaknesses of local players. Pakistan players were no match of aging Egyptian players even in exhibition matches and there is a dire need that federation should focus on players’ performances rather than making tall claims. Rather than having same old used bullets and wasting national kitty on highly flop coach Faheem Gul, it is time that federation must explore options of having an internationally reputed coach, who could make a difference for the players and the country. Pakistani players last won a major title way back in 1996, and ruled the squash world for almost four decades. But now it’s been more than two decades that Pakistan failed to achieve any major title internationally due to lack of vision and understanding of the persons who had taken the reins of the federation.

In the first match of the day, Waqar Mehboob was up against Zahed Mohamed. Despite up against world number 22, Waqar played his heart out and it was evident that if he is being provided with modern day training and coaching, Waqar could have easily made huge upset.

Waqar fought gallantly and despite 0-4 down in the first game, he levelled the game at 5-5. Then it was 5-7 but he made it 9-7. But at that point, he failed to hit winners and Zahed took the first game 11-9 in 10 minutes. Waqar started the second game on a very high note and raced on to take 5-2 lead and made it 9-7. But once again Waqar let Zahed off the hook and Zahed won the second game with same 11-9 score in 10 minutes. It was almost identical story witnessed in the third game as well. Waqar despite looking tired and out of gas showed tremendous fighting abilities and matched fire with fire. He was leading 4-2 but some close calls went against him, which made the difference at the end as Zahed won the third game 11-8 in 9 minutes to give Egypt 1-0 lead.

In the second match of the day, former world number 3 Omar Mosaad was up against youngster Ahsan Ayaz. It was no match at all as Omar was enjoying huge advantage. But to his credit Ahsan fought well and first game 8-11 in 11 minutes. He lost second game 7-11 in 11 minutes and could have won third game as he was leading 10-8 but inexperience cost him dearly as he committed a lot of unforced errors that helped Omar to win the third game 12-10 in 14 minutes and give Egypt 2-0 lead.

A lot was expected from Farhan Zaman as he was up against world number 57 Mazen Hesham. It was the match which Zaman should have won as both are almost similar kind of players and not much difference among their PSA rankings as well. But to the utter disappointment of pack to capacity crowd, mainly based on federations near and dear ones as squash lovers were not allowed entry to the complex, he also lost the match. It was once again highly tough day for sports journalists, who despite having valid accreditation cards were given real bashing by security deployed at various entry points of the complex. If federation doesn’t want to invite journalists and want to conduct even exhibition matches under cover then why they issue accreditation cards? No one from federation bothered to help out journalists. The federation thinks it is their right to get more than due publicity but in return they are not ready to provide even basic facilities to journalists.

Hesham simply outclassed Zaman in the first game and took the game 11-6 in just 9 minutes. Zaman fought well and bounced back in the second game and won the game 11-9 in 9 minutes. It was hoped Zaman had found the missing touch but highly questionable referring left Zaman high and dry and he lost third game 9-11 in 7 minutes and it was all Hesham in the 4th game as he was toying with Zaman before winning the game 11-7 in 9 minutes to give Egypt 3-0 unassailable lead in the series.

Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzda was the chief guest on the occasion and distributed prizes among the players.