Marwan in awe of Pakistan’s hospitality, passion

ISLAMABAD – Newly-crowned Pakistan Open champion Marwan El Shorbagy said he would have not even dreamed about getting such wonderful hospitality and would have rued if he had not come and play at the home of champions.

Marwan while talking exclusively to The Nation on Saturday said: “Once I got my name registered, I had made up my mind of playing in Pakistan Open, despite the fact people were trying to scare me off and wanted me to pull off from the event. But when I met with Pakistan team in France during the World Team Championship, I found that they are very nice and speak highly about their country and their love and passion drove me and I decided to play in Islamabad no matter what may come.”

He said he had a jetlag as he landed Pakistan just the night before the match after playing in the final of the world open in England and had to play the first round match too. “I was too tired and never thought about being the top seed I had to win the event. But once, I played in front of the highly vocal, passionate and full of life crowd, it provided the feel good factor that drove me to go all the way. I must say, I had managed to not only win the hearts but also make some very good friends in Pakistan. I have always dreamed of playing in Pakistan as it is the home of champions. I had met with Jahangir and Qamar Zaman was really wanted to meet with Jansher Khan.”

He said it was unfortunate that Pakistani players were not enjoying same old glory days’ heights but they can achieve the set targets if they work hard. “They are highly fortunate to have such supportive federation. I guess Pakistan Squash Federation is the one and only federation in the world who support their players wholeheartedly. I had never witnessed such involvement from any federation. Pakistan has a great system and infrastructure and they only need to work hard.”

Terming Pakistan a highly beautiful, caring and loving country, he said the PSF gave him tremendous respect and he did not feel for a while feel any insecurity. “I can understand, why the PSF was so involved as they are desperate to host PSA events. But the way they treated international players, it is my strong recommendation to all the PSA players don’t pay heed to advices from different corners as the reality is completely different from what we heard sitting outside. Pakistan is completely safe to host all kinds of the PSA and other international events. He said he had no issue to come again and again and play in front of the highly passionate crowd and enjoy the respect.




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