ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) SVP Syed Razi Nawab has said that on the lines of cricket series with arch-rivals India they are now planning to launch the first ever friendly ‘squash series’ to be played in both Pakistan and India next year.

Talking to this scribe, Razi Nawab said: “We have discussed this plan with the officials of Indian Squash Federation (ISF) during the recently-concluded Asian Senior Master Squash championship in Lahore in September and are moving forward on this initiative."  "Initially Indian delegates at Lahore agreed on this proposal, however, it was informed that the PSF is awaiting a formal approval from Indian Squash Federation in this regard. On formal receipt of the approval, other modalities like venues, timing and dates will be finalized,” he said.

Razi Nawab emphasised that this proposed series would be beneficial to both the countries as it was bound to attract squash lovers of both the countries and world. "The first series will be named as the ‘PSF President Challenge Cup’ while top players from both the countries will be going to test their mettles.”

“We are trying to hold the first phase of the series at our soil while the next one will be played in India but the final decision in this regard is yet to be reached,” he added.

To a query, AVM Razi Nawaz was of the view that the series would play an important role in promotion of the game of squash in the subcontinent. "We are optimistic that the series would also bring some good sponsorship.”

About naming the UAE as the neutral venue for the Pakistan's squash tournaments, Razi Nawab said the PSF was going to host its first event in UAE from December 22 where players from Pakistan, UAE and Egypt would compete in a tri-nation invitational tournament.

"Foreign players are still not ready to visit Pakistan for security concerns that’s why we have decided to host some tournaments in UAE that would surely bring international squash players to alternate venue and that would provide our players much needed international exposure by competing against the world's best players.”

"We want to give our players maximum squash tournaments so they could improve their international rankings as we have already sent our three top players, Aamir Atlas Khan, Farhan Zaman and Danish Atlas Khan, while the fourth player Nasir Iqbal is going through visa formalities as soon as he get the visa he would also join the rest in US to participate in the PSA tournaments,” Razi Nawab concluded.