Squash needs to be in good hands
|KARACHI, Aug 16:
Squash legend Jansher Khan says the reins of the game should be handed over
to the organisations like PIA or Customs and has urged officials at the helm
of Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) to utilise the services of former
stalwarts in uplifting the sport.
“It’s time squash should either be given back to PIA or Customs as the
incumbents have failed to yield positive results and the game has nose-dived
badly,” he told Dawn on Thursday.
“Look at the playing standards of Egypt,
Australia or England who have a solid base and are taking advantage of their
former stars such as Gamal Awad, Geoff Hunt and Jonnah Barrington,” said Jansher
who remained world No 1 for a decade from 1987 to 1997.
He paid rich compliments to Air Marshal Nur Khan while recalling his era during
which Pakistan ruled in cricket, hockey and squash globally.
Jansher, winner of the World Open for a record eight times and British Open
six-times said he quit the advisor’s post to PSF president after a short stint
when he found that the latter was not sincere to the cause of uplifting the
Sounding bitterly disappointed, he said the PSF chief invited him to groom three
promising players – Farhan Mahboob, Amir Atlas and Arshad Iqbal – some time back
but later backed out of his committment by asking the players to train
Jansher, 38, said God had bestowed him with many a honour and it was his desire
to repay the debt by producing at least one world class player and save the game
from further decline in Pakistan.
Emphasising the need of good coaching, Jansher said the PSF should take benefit
from illustrious players like Jahangir, Qamar Zaman, Mohibullah, Gogi Alauddin
and himself in reviving the game at all levels.
pointed out that while foreign nations were willing to utilise his services,
the situation was totally the opposite at home. Citing an example, the lanky
former player said a squash academy would soon be coming up in Egypt in his
name and he had been asked to confirm his appearance at the time of its
inauguration. Jansher, who hung his racket after making his last appearance
in the Dutch Open in 1998,
said he has drawn President Pervez Musharraf’s
attention to the declining standards of squash and the president had offered
a Rs10 million award to any Pakistani player for winning the World Open.
Commenting on the incentives for various
players in order to boost their game, the former squash champion regretted that
Pakistan No 1 Mansoor Zaman, despite his efforts, was still jobless. ‘‘How could
a player deliver when he’s constantly under mental stress?” he questioned.
Jansher added that his seven-year-old son Ali Sher Khan has the grit to follow
in his footsteps in the future while his elder son Ayaz, 15, is not too keen on
taking up the sport.