Pakistan eye top-eight finish in World Squash

KARACHI: Pakistan are hoping to finish among the top eight teams at the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship 2013, which is to be held from June 9-15 in Mulhouse, France, with 32 nations from all five continents participating.

Pakistan finished 22nd in the 2011 edition of the championship, losing to Ireland, Denmark, and Malaysia, but the country’s new coach expects that the team will regain its respectable position in the game. “I know we have lost so much in this championship, yet I am confident that players like Aamir and Nasir can do wonders for us,” said Jamshed Gul while talking to ‘The News’ after returning from Korea, where Pakistan won the Asian team championship.

Gul said that he was banking on Farhan Mehboob, Farhan Zaman, Danish Atlas, Hamza Bukhari, Ali Bukhari, and Bilal Zakir. “Our players are very good despite having very little international exposure. They have proved that they can beat anybody in the world,” he said. “Only physical fitness of the players is the thing we are going to heavily work on.”

Gul, who has been given this assignment after 2004-05 edition, said that soon after an international tournament in March in Karachi, the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) would set up a four-week training camp in Abbotabad where players would get extensive physical training. “Their performance is heavily dependent on their fitness. Since we don’t get enough international matches our players lack opportunities to play in competitive environment,” said the coach.

The world team championship is to be held in France for the first time in the event’s 46-year history. The venues are the Espace Squash 3000 Centre and the Palais Des Sports.

Pakistan first won the championship in 1977 by beating New Zealand, then in 1981 beating Australia, in 1983 beating England, in 1985 and 1987 beating New Zealand, and in 1993 by beating Australia.

Pakistan were the runners-up in 1979, -89, and -95.

In 2011, Pakistan’s team comprised Aamir Atlas Khan, Yasir Butt, Nasir Iqbal, and Waqar Mehboob.

The nations participating in the championship this year are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, USA and Venezuela.

Courtesy by: The International News

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