ISLAMABAD - Dubious referring cost Aamir Atlas Khan dearly, as he lost the Serena Hotels-Chief of Air Staff International Squash Championship final 2-3 against top seed Omar Abdel Meguid here at the jam-packed Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex on Thursday.

For the very first time in the entire event, Omar was given tough time by half fit Aamir. Had referees not played their part, Aamir could have grabbed the coveted title, but a number of decisions went against him which exposed the standard of refereeing in the event.

Despite fighting with hamstring injury, Aamir started the first game well as he brushed aside Omar 11-6 in nine minutes. Same was the case in the second game, as Aamir was dictating terms right from the start and took a healthy 7-2 lead. Omar though resisted and reduced the deficit to 5-7, yet Aamir was not in a mood to let Omar off the hook as he wrapped up the game 11-6 in 10 minutes.

After winning back-to-back games, Aamir showed signs of reoccurrence of the long-time injury he was carrying, while tough semifinal encounter against his younger brother previous day also didn't help Aamir's cause.

Omar came from behind in the third game racing onto to take 5-0 lead first and then 8-3 lead before winning the game comfortably 11-4 in seven minutes. Same was the case in the fourth game, as Aamir was looking down and out, hardly being able to move freely, Omar took full advantage of it and won the game 11-5.

Aamir was not in a mood to go down without a fight, so when he was down 0-3, he staged a remarkable comeback which forced the spectators cheered him enthusiastically which bucked him up. Omar did try to counter crowd support by using delaying tactics, complaining for number of decisions and tried to waste time, referee Fayyaz time and again warned Omar of just playing the game rather than complaining. It was neck-to-neck battle for the title in the fifth and last game which kept on swinging from one way to another. It was 3-3, then Aamir took mini lead of 5-3, once again it was 5-5, Aamir then took 7-5 lead, before Omar again leveling the score 7-7, Aamir bounced back and gained 9-7 lead before Omar leveling the score 9-9 and then he was serving for the match at 10-9, but Aamir showed tremendous fighting spirit to first level the game at 10-10 and then took 11-10 lead. Had referee not given dubious let calls thrice, Aamir could have easily won the match at 12-10, but too many decisions in the final stages went against Aamir, which finally made the difference as Omar won the royal battle 13-11, the fifth and last game lasted for 25 minutes. It was a classic final played between the two true professionals. Despite losing the final, it was Aamir who stole the limelight as crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) president Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of Air Staff, graced the final as chief guest, while former squash greats Qamar Zaman, Jansher Khan, Geoff Hunt, head coach Jamshed Gul Khan along with dignitaries and ambassadors and High Commissioner of Australia were also present on the occasion.