ISLAMABAD -  It is high time Pakistan Squash Federation should get rid of non-performing old horses as highly prestigious World Team Squash Championship, which would be held in France from November 26 is around the corner.

The PSF had provided all the facilities, coaches, training and also sent players abroad for the PSA events including TA/DAs despite limited resources and arranged World-V and Egypt-V series in Islamabad. PSF Senior Vice President Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi on the directives of President Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman had paid countless visits abroad and successfully managed to get PSA ban on hosting international events in Pakistan overturned. Now it is players turn to pay back in similar fashion as number of players just because of their links to past legends or their heritage of being member of influential families with strong squash background are taking too much liberty and often inflict huge embracement to not only squash, but to the country as well.

Now is the time, instead of being blackmailed and budge to unwanted pressure, the federation must take bold decisions in the best interest of the game. Never mind, if world titles don’t come in near future as they are not coming for the last two decades or more. The federation should focus on producing next generation f players like all the great sporting nations had done. England, Australia, Canada and Egypt are ruling the squash world after great Jahangir and Jansher vanished from the squash scene. All these nations have worked on long term plans and reaping the rewards. Same must be applied by the PSF. Now-a-days, everybody in the PSF gives examples of Egyptian squash model but forgetting that Egypt has adopted Pakistan model and that has brought them success. Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and even Japan and China are working on long term plans but Pakistan is nowhere. The reason is simple. For the last many years, same families are occupying and not letting outsiders to make inroads.

The federation must get rid of all those, who are not more than trouble-makers and had no role but to inflict misery on talented youngsters. Nasir Iqbal is one of the classic examples as people, who consider themselves as the contractors of squash were right behind his tail and they finally got a golden chance when due to negligence from previous federation senior vice president and secretary, Nasir is facing PSA ban despite being innocent. The federation must help Nasir as huge national kitty has been spent on him. He was taking giant strides and was undisputed number 1 player of the country. Instead of paying heed to so-called well-wishers, the federation must give all out support to Nasir and should plead his case at all available forums as he is the future of Pakistan.

The federation must not allow players to dictate terms. All those, who remain absent from trials or due to one or another reason fail to appear in trials, must be shown the doors. In the recently concluded $25,000 event in Hong Kong, where not a single top 30 player was in action, top Pakistani players were hammered at the very first hurdle, which is clear indication they had well passed their peaks and they are not champion stuff. Jahangir and Jansher were world champions even before they turned 20. Now these players in their late 20s or early 30s, couldn’t produce magic. Winning in exhibition matches or in front of local crowd with the help of local referees is different and winning at international level in the presence of top referees is completely different. The federation must relaise one simple thing that the money they are investing on players is of tax-payers and it should be well spent. Rather than spending on used bullets, or players with bad tempers, it should be invested on fresh blood and results will come in due course of time as it makes no sense of rewarding same players, who hardly pass first hurdle in even $10,000 events.

Instead of having an army of coaches, who had nothing on their credit, but are total disaster and failure on all fronts, the federation should go after a internationally-reputed coach, who may cost more but results would be more than guaranteed.  Now federation should stick with same six players, Farhan Zaman, Ammad Fareed, who recently won title in Australia, Shahjahan Khan, Asim Khan, Israr Ahmed and Ahsan Ayaz as results are very much known to all. But after the World Team event, entire coaching staff should be sent packing and new coaching staff must be hired and on long term basis. The federation must not listen to those, who had nothing on agenda but to get personal favours. Instead the federation should put country ahead and in doing so they will face lot of resistance from the opportunists but the federation must ignore the pressure and focus on task ahead as it is the only viable solution of climbing back to top.