ISLAMABAD - Pakistan national squash champion Aamir Atlas Khan termed his recent success due to sheer hard work and especially exceptional coaching of his father Atlas Khan.

Talking to The Nation on Tuesday, Aamir said: “I am leaving for Kuwait to participate in $10,000 PSA event. I am waiting for visa arrival and as soon as I get visa, I will depart for the event which will start from April 4 to 9. I am feeling much better now; though I have not fully fit yet my recent performances are enough to show I am gradually getting back on the right track.”

“I must appreciate the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) as they have chalked out a comprehensive plan to promote and given equal opportunities to all the top and upcoming players. They have divided players into different categories and will sponsor each player for a period of six months. It is a right step to promote squash and it will not only help the players getting much-needed international exposure but also help in regaining lost squash glory,” he maintained.

He said that the federation had promised him to provide air ticket to Kuwait which he hoped the PSF would do well in time. “Everyone is fully aware of the fact that I am flying high in the PSA rankings, but some opportunists take advantage and manage to derail me. I was banned and that was a body blow for my ambitions, as after that there was a sharp decline in my PSA rankings. But I made up my mind and won the national and international championships. My top priority is to break into world’s elite group of players for which I have been endeavouring,” he asserted.

“According to my experience and knowledge, Nasir and Farhan Zaman, if really want to break into top 20 or more, have to decide which tournament they have to play. Playing in $5000 or $10,000 events will serve no purpose to them so they have to play $25,000 or above events, if they want to get maximum ranking points,” Aamir stated.

“I fully endorse the PSF decision of dividing players into different categories and placing Nasir and Farhan Zaman into elite group. Both the lads have bright future and they will get due reward from the federation, if they manage to win or at least play the final of high-profile PSA events and it will also be in great benefit of players and also the the country,” he elaborated.

When this scribe asked Aamir about defending Asian team title in June at Hong Kong, he replied: “I will go with the experience players and prefer to have Farhan Mehboob with me as he is a big match player. If one carefully looks at recent records, it is crystal clear that Farhan Mehboob and I have played significant role in all the recent successes for the country. I will also recommend Nasir, Farhan Zaman and Danish, two of them, should be the part of the team to defend the title, as they can make the difference with giving a little extra effort.”

“I request the PSF to continue to hold training camps round the year and send maximum players for the PSA events. Our players are not less than any top professional but what they lack is less international exposure. If our players will be provided maximum international exposure, it will be easy for us to regain lost squash glory,” Aamir concluded.