ISLAMABAD  -Pakistan junior squash team Monday left for Amman, Jordan to participate in the 24th Asian Junior Individual Squash Championship 2013 to be played at Al Hassan International Squash Complex, Jordan from June 26.
Four-member male team including No 2 seed Syed Ali Mujtaba Shah Bukhari, No 4 seed Tayyab Aslam, No 5 seed Bilal Zakir and No 9 seed Ammad Fareed will take part in the event. Ikramullah Khan is the coach and Abida Zafar is manager while two female members Sadia Gul and Madina Zafar have also left to participate in the female category of the event. Both the female players are unseeded in the championship.
Talking exclusively to The Nation on Monday, Pakistan squash team head coach Jamshed Gul said: “I am quite confident my boy’s will perform well. They were trained hard in the camp and they had played lot of competitive squash in the recent days. Ali is the second seed in the championship just behind Ahmad Alsaraj. Ali is a very tough nut to crack as he played against seniors recently with great potential so if he plays according to his abilities, then he will surely earn laurels for the country.”
Speaking about Tayyab and others, Jamsehd said: “Frankly speaking, all the boys have equal chances of lifting the prestigious event. Although the competition is very tough and every match will be like a final, yet I have great expectations from my boys and they are more than capable of lifting the championship.”
The head coach said this was the same group of players who had won Junior Asian Team Squash Championship for Pakistan and all of them had earned their places to represent Pakistan after coming through tough trial matches.
When this scribe asked Jamshed about the chances of female players in the U-17 category, he replied: “Both Sadia and Madina are very good upcoming players. Sadia has experience of playing in some international events while Madina is also very tough competitor but the competition is very tough. Either they win or loss, but ultimately what they will win is the much-needed international exposures which Pakistan players especially females lack.”
“If female players will play without taking pressure, they may create one or two upsets and if the fair of luck favours them, they may end up in the last four. Anyhow, I must admit if they win couple of matches, it will be great on their part but if they fail to do so, even then it will be okay as they are the future of Pakistan. I have pinned great hopes on them of winning international laurels for the country in the near future and both these girls will also represent Pakistan in the World Junior Individual Squash Championship next year where they have very bright chances to clinch the title,” he added.
Jamshed said: “I will strongly recommend to Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) to pay special attention to females as there are quite a few players who have made their names. If provided with an opportunity, our female players can win laurels in return.”
“After their return from Asian Individual Championship, our next main assignment is the World Junior Individual Squash Championship in Poland next month. Same boys will represent Pakistan in the event, as they are the best available juniors in the country currently, but there are some more players in the queue, who will surely give a tough time to these lads in near future,” Jamshed concluded.