ISLAMABAD    -   Former world squash champion and Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) Vice President Qamar Zaman has showed his concerns about the future of national players in international circuit, saying the country won’t be able to produce a world champion even in next 10 to 15 years.

In an interview with The Nation, Qamar said: “The players are not willing to put up efforts and spare five hours daily for training, as they are more concerned about money and international tours. They want to play squash just to get visas to settle abroad and earn money. Such behaviour is not acceptable and the federation must take tough measures against all such players, who brought bad name to the country.

“I feel bad to say this but the reality is very harsh, as I do not see good results from even junior players in near future. It is true that we have few exceptionally talented young players like Noor Zaman and Hamza, who have made their names at international stage as well. But I think they still need to work very hard.”

Qamar also admitted that the federation must train the junior players in Pakistan, rather than sending them abroad to training purposes. “When we have former world champions like Jahangir, Jansher and me and others, why we need foreign coaches? The entire amount spent on junior players in Egypt was wasted, as they are still struggling and giving poor results. They were much better prior to training in Egypt.

“We all need to understand that why Egypt will pass on their knowledge to our players? If the federation wants to take benefit from our services, we are more than willing to help, as it badly hurts to see that not a single Pakistani player is even in PSA top 50,” he added.

The former legend said: “We have to rely on senior players as well. Farhan Mehboob is the most gifted player, while Aamir Atlas is mentally very tough. If Farhan starts proper training, he can be an unbeatable player. The Pakistan National Squash Academy (PNSA) should hire qualified coaches and work on improving refereeing, as our referees lack knowledge and skills and their refereeing is not up to the mark. Jansher and I visit Hashim Khan Squash Complex daily to give tips to the youngsters. I can assure you all that the situation is not such bad. If we seriously want to help Pakistan squash, the federation must assign roles to living legends,” he said.

“There are two solutions to our current problems. One is short-term solution and the other is long-term planning. We can still get more than desired results from present crop of players, as we have Farhan, Atlas brothers, Tayyab, Asim, Israr and Nasir Iqbal, who is about to return from ban.

“As regards Peshawar academy, Atlas Khan is doing good job with available resources. He has worked very hard with his efficient staff. Outdated coaches and trainers must be replaced without any further delay, as this is the only viable solution to overcome all the woes being faced by Pakistan squash and there is also dire need to prepare crop of future champions under living legends,” Qamar concluded.