ISLAMABAD - Pakistan team, which won the World Junior Team Squash title in Poland after defeating top seeds Egypt 2-1 in the final, was accorded warm welcome at Noor Khan Airbase on Friday.

After landing at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport at 7:30am, the team was given straight passage to Noor Khan Airbase where they were warmly received by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, senior vice president Air Vice Marshal (R) Syed Razi Nawab, honorary secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz along with other federation officials. RISJA president Mohsin Ali, secretary Shakir Abbasi along with other senior members were also present at the occasion.

The PSF chief embraced manager Qamar Zaman, coach Amjed Khan, winning team super star Israr Ahmed, Abbas Shoukat, Ahsan Ayaz and Mehran Javed. He appreciated the role of the sports journalists and sought their help to further promote soft and sports-loving image of the country through their writings and TV programmes.

Talking to the journalists, the PSF chief lauded juniors’ performance and attributed victory to the PNSA and legends, who were onboard and played key role with the players for the last four months during training camp at Mushaf Mir Squash Complex. He promised to announce special incentives for the players, coach and manager for their outstanding victory.

Sharing his views, manager junior team Qamar Zaman said: “The PSF did the right thing by sending me as a manager. I gave important tips to the players and informed them about their weaknesses. It was not an easy task of upstaging top seeds Egypt, but the boys responded in style. I along with coach Amjed Khan planned each and every match and gave instructions to the boys. All the matches were quite tough, but we had given especial focus to Egypt and chalked out comprehensive plan against them, which did wonders at the end. The boys deserve all the credit so as the federation for giving them everything they wanted.”

Qamar also thanked PSF president Sohail Aman for his physical presence at the airport. “It gave a huge boost to the players’ confidence and they would try further harder to win more laurels for country.” He strongly recommended special incentives for the players and coaching staff.

Sharing his views, top junior player Israr Ahmed said victory was possible due to the federation’s all-out backing. “Qamar Zaman and coach Amjed Khan’s presence at the venue was also a great help for us. I was under enormous pressure while playing against top Egyptian player Saadeldin Abouaish, who had beaten me in the individual category semi-finals, but I was sure I could beat him and provide Pakistan upper hand in the tie. As I had planned, the things went accordingly and I managed to beat him and drew the first blood. I entered the court and recited Bismillah, which gave me strength and then the things were very easy for me.”

Sharing his views, PSF senior vice president Air Vice Marshal (R) Syed Razi Nawab said: “The PSF will provide the players everything possible to ensure the players must concentrate on their game, rather than thinking about other irrelevant things.”

When asked about extending Amjed’s contract, Razi replied: “We will sort out things in a few days.” About cash incentives for the players, coaching and manager, he said: “We will pay each member Rs 0.5 million while will also try to further increase cash but after meeting with the PSF president.” About calling back the players from USA, who are upset with the PSF, Razi said: “Our doors are open for all. They must come and we will provide each and every facility to them.”

Another Pakistan hero Abbas Shoukat said: “I was feeling the heat, as it was do-or-die for Pakistan and title, but coach Amjed Khan bucked me up and told me just to focus on my game. As soon as I entered the court, I was normal and I beat Marwan Tarek in straight games. I will try to live up to the expectations and try to repeat same performances in the upcoming PSA events in Pakistan.”

Coach Amjed Khan said: “Victory was possible due to the PSF’s all-out backing. The players also worked hard and managed to win the coveted trophy. I was given the task of training juniors for the world juniors, which I managed to achieve. I want to serve my country, and if the federation wants me carry on, I am ready to work with not only juniors but also with seniors.”