MARSEILLE-Pakistan team landed here in France on Saturday for the 2017 WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship 2017, to be held in Marseille from November 27 to December 3.

Pakistan’s four-member team comprises Farhan Zaman, Shahjahan Khan, Ammad Fareed and Asim Khan while Faheem Gul is with the team as head coach and Aftab Qureshi as manager.

Soon after landing in France, Pakistan players did not waste any time and went to courts for training.

The opening ceremony of the event will be held today (Sunday). A total of 24 teams are taking part in the championship and have drawn in eight pools. Pakistan are in a tough Pool A, which also include Egypt and Switzerland

Pakistan squash team head coach Faheem Gul Khan was also hopeful of team’s better show and said the players underwent intense training and have abilities to finish on top in the mega event. Faheem said they are drawn in a tough group having Egypt and Switzerland as their opponent who are enjoying better seeding than Pakistan and have the services of the world’s best player at their disposal. But he said one would write off Pakistan chances in the event at their own peril and despite being underdogs his players would put up a fight like champions and would prove the critics wrong.

He said his players were inexperienced and not played at such level with exception of Farhan Zaman who had previously played in the World Team Championship in 2013 while all the other players don’t even have the idea, what they are going to face.

“I will depend and count on Farhan and Ammad as they have abilities to upset any given opponent. Farhan has time and again proved in the past that he can upset any given player on his given day. He had beaten the likes of Leo Au, Saurav Gohsal, Max Lee and other top contenders and no one should underestimate his qualities. Ammad is our dark horse as he had played some fantastic squash and performed wonders in the Egypt-Pakistan-V and World-Pakistan-V series. I am expecting similar results from him. He is a natural fighter and could be highly useful. He had staged tremendous fight and won lot of matches in the recent past. Shahjahan and Asim are also no mugs and had earned their place in the squad, after beating other top contenders.”

Faheem thanked PSF President Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman and senior vice president Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi for their keen interest and involvement. “I had never witnessed such passionate persons for the last several years. They had not only provided us all the facilities but also backed us at every available forum.” He said senior vice president Alvi took keen interest in reshaping the game and his presence on the court gave players extra motivation.

Faheem said secretary Tahir Sultan was also doing a great job and it was because of him that players were going through highly intense and modern day training.

“They are young, not as experienced as one could wish. But on the other hand, it could be in our favour too as being underdogs there would be no match pressure on them. It is good that director academies Air Commodore (R) Aftab Qureshi is also accompanying the team as he is also keenly involved and spent hours with players and coaches. I am highly satisfied with the preparations of the players and we will have two days to practice and get use to the conditions. I request nation to pray for our success. We are working in the right direction. It will take some time but results will start to come soon,” Faheem concluded.