ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) former head coach Jamshed Gul Khan has expressed his complete faith in Pakistan senior and junior players, who will depart for Netherlands and Australia on July 23 and 25 to participate in World Junior Individual Squash Championship and Victorian and Australian Open Squash Championships respectively.

Talking to The Nation, Jamshed, one of the most successful coaches of recent times, said: “I wish juniors best of luck for the highly prestigious event, which was last won by great Jansher Khan in 1987. Since then no one managed to win the coveted title for the country. But this time around, I feel Pakistan players have bright chances of winning the title as we have likes of Tayyab Aslam, Asim Khan, Israr Ahmed and Abbas Shoukat. Abbas is a dark horse and has ability to upset any given opponent and capable of winning crucial matches. So I hope Pakistani players will make their presence feel and try to win the coveted title.”

“Asim has just won title in Qatar and I consider him future of Pakistan squash. He is talented, cool and sharp player and I am quite hopeful he is capable of surprising even top-ranked senior players. It will be very tough battle for the current world champion Peru's Diego Elias to defend his title as Pakistani players are very serious contenders this time. We could have won the title last time but Syed Ali Bokhari and Tayyab missed golden opportunity,” he added.

Jamshed said that juniors had extra advantage of training with seniors like Nasir Iqbal and Farhan Zaman during the training camp at Mushaf Mir Squash Complex. “I hope they should have taken full advantage from the training and would utilize all their abilities in best possible manner to win the coveted trophy. I wish them best of luck and pray for their success.”

Jamshed said that Pakistani senior players Nasir Iqbal, Farhan Zaman and Tayyab Aslam had bright chances of doing well in the Victorian Open and then in the Australian Open. “Nasir is currently at 48 and he can easily move into top 30 in the PSA rankings, while same is the case with Farhan Zaman, who is presently at 80 and can move into top 50, while Tayyab can also significantly improve his PSA ranking. Nasir is seeded fifth in the $27,000 Australian Open. All these players trained very hard for the last two months and I feel they have golden chances of performing exceptionally in the back-to-back events.”

Jamshed lauded the PSF for establishing Pakistan National Squash Academy (PNSA). “The academy was need of the hour and the federation has done right thing at right time. The players had been demanding for an academy since long which was finally materialized. I hope the PSF will involve quality coaches and give top most priority to finding and grooming fresh talent and also give proper attention on female players and finding and grooming fresh female talent, as the country is in dire need of working on war footings on female squash.”

“Pakistan is blessed with natural talent but there is only need to provide them with best possible coaching and facilities. The day is not far when Pakistani male as well as female players will create waves and win laurels for the country at international stage,” Jamshed concluded.