PSA hope Islamabad event will provide a springboard for squash in troubled nation
By Squash Mad Correspondent
Pakistan is set to host it’s first high level PSA World Tour squash competition since 2008 when the 2014 Pakistan International Squash Tournament, a PSA International 25 event, gets underway in Islamabad on October 20.
The country which gave birth to legends Jansher and Jahanghir Khan, Pakistan has had a long-standing relationship with squash but hasn’t staged an event open to international players since 2008, having last held a World Series event in 2006.
However the Professional Squash Association (PSA) have agreed to the staging of the 2014 Pakistan International Squash Tournament in a move that is designed to help stimulate the sport’s popularity within the nation.
The move is set against a backdrop of international tension that has led Western governments to advise citizens not to travel to the region, and a sporting panorama riddled with allegations of corruption, mismanagement and players lying about their ages in junior international tournaments.
These activities undermined the reputation of an incredible squash legacy developed in the 1950s by the phenomenal achievements of Hashim Khan and his Pakistani companions, who have created a sporting dynasty that has spread across the world.
Hopefully, this latest move will provide a springboard for much-needed change.
“We’re pleased to see high level squash returning to Pakistan and hope that this year’s tournament can help re-ignite the country’s passion for the sport,” said PSA CEO Alex Gough.
“Pakistan has a long and successful association with the sport of squash, having produced multiple world-class players, and with a strong crop of youngsters beginning to make their mark on the PSA World Tour at present, the 2014 Pakistan International will help to inspire future generations.”
Pakistan Squash Federation Secretary Amir Nawaz said: “The PSF is highly grateful to the PSA for understanding the dire need for international Squash to return to Pakistan.
“This decision provides an opportunity for regional players to rub shoulders and test their skills against some of the world’s top players in Pakistan, a country with a rich history in the game of Squash.
“We are hopeful that with such positive support from International bodies, the game of squash will flourish further both at the domestic and international level.”
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