ISLAMABAD – The qualifying matches of the Chief of Air Staff International Squash Championship 2012 started here at Musaf Ali Mir Squash Complex on Saturday.

Eight matches were played on the opening day of the championship carrying US$10,000-prize money.

Pakistan number one squash player Aamir Atlas Khan is the top seed of the championship followed by his younger brother Danish Atlas Khan second seed and Farhan Mehboob is the third seed. 16 top players, 12 through direct entry and 4 will join them after completion of qualifying round of the event.

While talking exclusively with TheNation on Saturday Pakistan Squash Federation Secretary said: “In our limited resources we are doing our best to help boost Pakistani players international rankings, as we all know international players are not willing to travel to Pakistan sighting so-called security concerns”. PSF can't afford to send all players abroad to appear in international events, which is essential for our players to boost international rankings so we have organised CAS International Squash Championship, but we have also inked a sponsorship deal with Capital Development Authority (CDA) to organize a PSA championship in October at Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex and we have already requested to PSA to include that event in their calendar.

Wahab said: “We are taking maximum steps which could help revive squash in Pakistan and are also working on a formula to send players in different international events through active help of our valued sponsors.  We are holding talks with different sponsors and multi-nationals companies to gain sponsorships to send our players abroad.”  Pakistan Air Force like past always lend us helping hand and provided us maximum funds, it was because of PAF that they are able to run the affairs of the federation smoothly and players are paid reasonable amounts. They are holding training camps on regular basis at different venues where the players are given free accommodation; and all other facilities to continue these camps.

 “We have taken the helm of the affairs at the federation with a promise of taking Pakistan squash back to the top of the world and with the passage of time we would achieve this goal very soon, Wahab concluded.