Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Something for the Weekend: Pakistan crisis as national coach Jamshed Gul is axed

National coach Jamshed Gul set to be cast aside at Pakistan Squash Federation AGM later this month

By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor

CHAOS reigns in Pakistan squash. It seems that every week brings a fresh crisis, a new clash between factions and another dent in the reputation of a nation that once ruled the men’s squash world.

This week the latest bout of political in-fighting ended with the decision not to renew the contract of national coach Jamshed Gul. Mohsin Ali of The Nation tells the story.

Jamshed Gul's contract will not be renewed
Surplus to requirements: Pakistan national coach Jamshed Gul’s contract will not be renewed 
The Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) is all set to commit sporting suicide, as the federation, bowing down to extensive pressure of regional associations, has decided not to extend the contract of highly successful head coach Jamshed Gul.

The inside sources have confirmed to this scribe that the PSF had decided not to offer a fresh contract to Jamshed, whose current contract expired on December 31. The decision would spell disaster for a number of players, especially Farhan Mehboob and Farhan Zaman, who will pay a very heavy price, if the PSF top brass do not change their mind.

Sources said: “The AGM of the federation under the chair of president Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt will be held January 24, where the top agenda of the associations will be removal of head coach Jamshed Gul.

Two associations were not happy with the appointment of Jamshed and they wanted their yes man to take over the reins, but former secretary and senior vice president Air Vice Marshal Syed Razi Nawab resisted the move and appointed Jamshed as head coach.

With some exceptional performances in his very first year, Jamshed shut his critics mouths and that too from the same bunch of players, who were not more than average before his arrival but Pakistan managed to win Asian senior men’s team championship, Asian junior team championship and finished runners-up in the World junior team event in 2012.”

The year 2013 was arguably the most successful year for Pakistan squash after a very long time, as in this year, Pakistan grabbed both Asian senior and junior individual squash titles, also managed to finish 10th in world team event in France and that too without the services of top player Aamir Atlas Khan, a number of Pakistani players managed to win PSA titles both at home and abroad.

Pakistan celebrate a victory over IndiaThe sources revealed that previous year, the associations tried their best to convince the federation to show doors to the head coach, but they remained unsuccessful.

But now the conspiracy looks all set to gain the desired results, as the association has managed to muster support of KPK as well, who were strong supporters of Jamshed, but reasons best known to KPK association who now have been floating the idea of hiring trainers instead of a coach.

There is hardly any professional trainer available in the country, so for saving few bucks at the cost of highly professional coach is by all means a blunder.

The PSF has never managed to stamp out their authority on the regional associations, who always keep on creating hurdles in the smooth functioning of the affairs.

These associations have no major contribution as far as producing players for the country is concerned for the last few years, with only exception of Punjab, which has produced a few players.

It is the federation which dictates all the terms, but the case is entirely different when it comes to dealing with the associations in Pakistan which always manage to blackmail the federation and put it on the back foot.

The ball is now in PSF president’s court as he is the one who will decide fate of the coach as well as SVP Air Vice Marshal Razi Nawab who has completed his tenure. Instead of bowing down to unwanted and uncalled for pressure, the decision should be made purely on merit.

Pakistani players’ certain rise in the PSA rankings is a clear indication of Jamshed’s abilities and shows he is the man to take Pakistan squash back to same heights where once it was.

Razi’s presence is very important as he has introduced new ideas, working on number of plans, and showed his caliber by winning the VP seat at the Asian Squash Federation (ASF), snatching the post right under the noses of powerful Indian lobby.

Razi’s tireless efforts helped the country in getting two $15,000 PSA events after a long time. Now Razi is working on getting $25,000 and even more prize money events for Pakistan so his sudden departure can hamper the cause.

Any decision taken in haste will have very negative impact as far as Pakistan’s future in squash is concerned.


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