From The Express Tribune
KARACHI: Pakistan squash players have found their way into the US squash circuit with Aamir Atlas, Danish Atlas, Yasir Butt and national women’s champion Maria Toor taking part in various tournaments in the country.
Pakistan number one Aamir believes that the development is due to the US circuit attracting a lot of spectators and sponsors, taking the limelight away from the UK, which used to host the highest number of tournaments until a few years ago.
“Previously, everyone dreamt of playing in the UK but now it’s the US where all the money is,” Aamir told The Express Tribune. “This trend started about two years ago. The circuit is dominated by the Egyptians and Australians so it has replaced the UK as the premier centre for squash.”
Aamir will be participating in three events in the US and will begin his campaign against Egypt’s world number six Mohamed El Shorbagy in the Tournament of Champions that kicks off today.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Squash Federation Vice-President Qamar Zaman agreed with Aamir’s view regarding the US emerging as the new squash hub and said that one reason behind this development was the setting up of academies in the country by retired squash professionals.
“Players like David Palmer, Stewart Boswell and others are running academies in the US and have found a good market,” said Zaman. “The UK, on the other hand, can hardly find sponsors for the British Open these days. I think Pakistanis should play in the US as it can improve their game.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2012.