ISLAMABAD - Eight-time former world squash champion Jansher Khan congratulated the nation and Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) on the outstanding performance of Pakistan squash team for defeating archrivals India in the 19th Asian Junior Squash Team Championship in Pattaya.

Talking to The Nation,                  said:: “These are signs of great satisfaction and encouragement for Pakistani squash players. But they must take heart from this wonderful success and carry forward the good work done by the PSF President Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Nishah-e-Imtiaz Military, as his personal efforts are gradually bringing desired results for Pakistan squash. Although the Asian Junior is not a massive victory yet at least, it is step in the right direction.”

The living squash legend said that if the players are supported and encouraged with such passion, they will definitely keep continue making the country and nation proud by winning more and more titles. He also lauded the federation for earning the rights of hosting the Asian Senior Individual Squash Championship next year. Last time, when Pakistan hosted the Asian Seniors, Aamir Atlas became the first Pakistani to lift the title after a gap of almost 15 years. Hosting the prestigious event will brighten the local players’ chances and local crowd will also be able to witness one of the best Asian players in action.

Jansher, who had the honour of being the world number one squash player for continuous 10 years, hoped that under the dynamic leadership of PSF President, Pakistan squash can regain its lost prestige, the obvious proof being the victory of Pakistan squash team in 19th Asian junior squash team championship. “I strongly suggest the players to give their 100 percent, fully involve in training, try to be more humble, learn what is being told to them, coaches are there to help each and every individual, hard training, proper physical and mentally strengthen of body hold the key to success.

“I can easily claim that Pakistani players are not less than any given top professional player. They just lack proper training and don’t train as much as they should. During our days, we hadn’t such facilities as we had to train at our own. We had to arrange funds to be able to participate in the PSA events. Only PIA supported us by offering tickets while we had to bear rest of the expenditures.

“The players don’t realise one simple fact that initially, one has to spend from own pocket and after climbing PSA ladders, money never matters as it will come thick and fast. The PSF won’t take share nor the coaches or any other individual, it will directly go into players pocket and their families will enjoy the limelight,” he added.

Jansher said the way Pakistani juniors showed diligent performance in 19th Junior Squash Team Championship, they can surely achieve success by demonstrating adaptable temperament in top level junior tournaments like world junior championship and British Open in future. “As a matter of fact, if our players are encouraged at junior level, they can definitely demonstrate persistent performance in senior level tournaments, which is quite inevitable for our players.”

The squash legend said that he has also requested higher authorities of PSF to ensure holding junior international tournaments in Pakistan as it will prove productive not only for squash promotion but also lead to enhancing people’s interest in squash.

He requested higher authorities and media channels to play their respective roles for the promotion of squash in Pakistan.

“The sports channels should telecast squash matches of golden days as it will lead to develop interest of our new generation in squash and they will also learn about Pakistan’s prestige in the field of squash because most of the awards have been won in the game of squash among all sports in Pakistan but unfortunately, our new generation is unaware about it,” Jansher concluded.