ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) Senior Vice President Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi has lauded players and coaches for winning the 19th Asian Junior Team Squash Championship.

Speaking at the press conference, Shahid Alvi said: “The victory is achieved after six years gap. We have managed to win 32 medals in last 18 months or so due to sheer hard work and top class training, being provided to the players. It was made possible due to coaches’ tireless efforts, who groomed the players well.

“We have conducted three international tournaments in Pakistan last year, in which a lot of top international players participated. We have given clearance to conduct countless PSA events in Pakistan by World Squash Federation (WSF) and Professional Squash Association (PSA). We are given go ahead to conduct Asian Senior Individual Men’s & Women’s Squash Championships in Pakistan in 2021 in Islamabad. Our juniors play very good at juniors level, but when they get promotion to senior level, they lost focus and attention. We are working on their mental and physical grooming and trying to ensure good work at senior level,” he added.

Shahid Alvi said there is a dire need to build squash nurseries in Pakistan. “We want complete revival of squash in the country and the associations have to play their due role in this mission. We are in close contact with different departments regarding providing jobs to players, as it will help the players play their games without worrying about livelihood for their families.

“Pakistan Air Force will also play its active role in providing jobs to these players. We want to train the players on regular basis and committed to provide them maximum international exposure. We want to construct international-standard squash academy and complex in Pakistan Sports Complex, for which we are in negotiation and hopefully, soon the things will be settled down.”

He said that they have asked the PSA to allocate more junior events to Pakistan. He claimed that the PSA ranking of Pakistani females is improving, Pakistani juniors are excelling at international level and the country has great squash talent and the associations have been directed to hunt and groom that talent and prepare it to represent the country at national and international level and win laurels for it.

The PSF official didn’t reveal the federation’s plans about neglected area of female squash. Although the federation conducted female events last year, yet it was due to supplementary requirement of PSA and not a single Pakistani female was able to produce even ordinary results in all these tournaments.

Female squash is long being ignored by the federation. Despite repeated promises made by the PSF of paying heed towards female squash and providing them with the best facilities, nothing was done. The PSF never bothered to inform about the criteria of selection, when the trials were conducted. They also didn’t bother to inform that for the last two decades, why Pakistan couldn’t win a single major title. All the nations have their eyes on the world juniors but Pakistan is contended with winning Asian Junior Squash title.

The PSF must open eyes and appoint reputed coaches to stand realistic chances of competing against the best in the business, or else same pathetic results are bound to come thick and fast. These coaches are not capable of producing champions.

The PSF has to dig deep and work on fresh talent as now Abbas Zeb and Haris Qasim have to play at senior level. The time is high when the PSF must come up with clear-cut plans and focus not only on senior and junior teams but also on female squash.