ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's last legendry squash player Zarak Jehan Khan has felt that Pakistan squash will be dead if Jamshed Gul and Faheem Gul leave the national teams’ coaching.
Talking to The Nation, Zarak, who won gold medals in individual categories at Asian Games, said: “Jamshed Gul and Faheem Gul are the world's best coaches and they are solely responsible behind Pakistani players’ recent successes. If they quit to coach Pakistan squash, the future of the game will be bleak.”
The former world No 8 said: “I along with my brothers Hidi Jehan, former world No 2, and Zubair Jehan, former world No 8, always served the country and played for its pride and dignity, but we never got any recognition of our time-tested sincerity and hard work.”
Zarak, who arrives from US with his 19-year old son Shahjehan Khan, who is participating in the Serena Hotels-CAS International Squash Championship, said: “We introduced squash in Balochistan, and I was the last Pakistani to held top 10 PSA slot. After me, no one could reach that milestone, which is quite disturbing. Our players have guts and talent but unfortunately they were not provided with infrastructure and training, which was need of the hour.”
“I helped Pakistan win the World Team Championship in 1993 in Karachi along with Jahanghir, when I beat Rodney Eyles of Australia. I helped the country win a number of titles. We were offered hefty bribes to throw matches, but we never betray the country and turned our backs on lucrative offers, but what we get in return, nothing. I was the only player who won laurels and also helped Pakistan win titles as a coach. I resigned from PIA, but it is a matter of great pain that my department failed to clear my dues despite a lapse of several years,” he added.
“I left Pakistan in 2010 after getting frustrated from the dirty politics and settled in US. I held meetings with PSF senior vice president Razi Nawab and requested him to let Shahjahan represent Pakistan in world juniors and Asian individual, despite promises nothing was done. Two precious years of my son have been wasted. There will be no future of my son if I leave him in Pakistan. I want to let my son represent the country of my birth, but I don't see any hope here for him. If things go in same direction, I will be left with no other option but to get him US citizenship and register him as US player. It will be only Pakistan's loss,” Zarak stated.
“I have given Pakistan 18 years of my life, and I want to serve my country. I have met with different Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) officials in the past but nothing was done. Now I am quite satisfied with life in US. I have two years or so left before I get the US passport, but if I allow my son to play for US, it will be a matter of months before I get US citizenship. My son wants to play for the country of his birth, but it looks highly impossible under the present circumstances,” he added.
When asked if he is offered a role in the present setup, will he accept it, Zarak replied. “Not at all. I am quite satisfied in the US, and I have bought my own home there and living with my family. I don't want to listen to offers in Pakistan, as I know nothing on ground will be done. I don't want to waste time on talking, rather I believe in doing. It really hurts to watch Pakistan squash declining. As a Pakistani and former player I want to see my country regain the old glory. But to do that, the PSF must have to work hard and give free hand to head coach and provide maximum PSA events to players to help them improve their PSA rankings,” Zarak concluded.