ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has said that he will continue supporting players and officials till Pakistan squash regains its past glory.

Sohail Aman has fulfilled his promise of according warm welcome to the national junior team, which clinched the World Junior Team Squash title. The Air Chief was the first to receive the champions along with former world champion Qamar Zaman, who was team manager and coach Amjed Khan at the Noor Khan Airbase.

Talking to The Nation, the Air Chief said: “I had promised young guns to welcome them at the airport, if they would win the title. The boys not only held their heads high by lifting the coveted trophy for the sixth time in Pakistan’s golden squash history, but also made the entire nation proud. It was a gift to the brave Pakistanis, who laid down their lives in the line of duty and was a great tribute to Pakistanis on Independence Day.”

Sohail said the victory was not an ordinary one. “It was made possible due to a number of reasons including the federation’s hard work, players’ dedication, establishment of academies at Karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad and involvement of legends like great Jahangir Khan, Jansher Khan, Qamar Zaman, Gogi Allauddin and others to uplift the standard of Pakistan squash. I personally called Jahangir, Jansher, Qamar and others and congratulated them because their contributions in squash could never be ruled out.”

He said the players were provided whatever they demanded and they would be given whatever they required. “This victory is the first step towards revival of squash and I am sure now the big tournaments will be won by Pakistanis. I have given the PSF task of producing world champions in next three years. When I inaugurated the Pakistan National Squash Academy at Islamabad last year, we achieved the first task and I am quite optimistic that the world’s top events like World Open and British Open would be once again won by one of these young bright kids.”

Sohail lauded the services of senior vice president Air Vice Marshal (R) Syed Razi Nawab, honorary secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz, coaching and supporting staff for this huge victory. “We will host three PSA $25,000 events this year, while the fourth one is yet to be registered with the PSA and hopefully, it will be registered soon. These events will not only boost Pakistani players’ international rankings, but also provide them with an opportunity to play alongside the world’s elite group of players and also boost them financially.

“We always take special care of players and coaching staff. As all know squash is the only international event, which Pakistan can host as the WSF and the PSA allocated $25,000 events to Pakistan, seeing the better and improved security situation of the country due to the sacrifices of its armed forces. I am quite hopeful things will further improve and the PSA will allocate the PSF further high-prize events. Pakistan is fully capable of hosting big prize money tournaments, which we had hosted in the past and we had shown the world for last two years that Pakistan is completely safe for all kinds of sporting events. The players from USA, Australia, Egypt, Malaysia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, UAE and other countries feel proud, secure to participate and enjoy hospitality of Pakistanis.”

When asked about national junior coach Amjed Khan, who had offers from abroad, whether the federation would keep hold of him and offer him fresh long-term contract or let him leave, Sohail replied: “We have set certain parameters for appointing coaches. We will discuss the issue and then see what comes next.” He refused to give any clue about giving any role to Amjed.