PESHAWAR, Feb 12: World No 98 Arshad Iqbal Burki, on Wednesday left for the USA to participate in the US Circuit comprising five Super Circuit tournaments after improving his world ranking from 105 to 98.
Speaking to the media, at Peshawar International Airport before departure, Burki said that he got a good offer of playing squash in the US Circuit.
“I had confirmed my entries in five events to be held from Feb 20 to April 5, 2009 which includes the Davenport North American Open (Virginia), carrying a cash prize of USD 95000 starting
from Feb 23-28, National Capital Open, Maryland, USA of US $ 15000 with a draw of 32 players followed by Pacific Athlete Open in Redwoood City, California, USA (US $15000), Berkshine Open-2009 MA USA (US $15000) and Rochesten Proam, USA, a super satellite tournament of US $ 75000.”
“With the last four events in Oct-Nov,2008 in USA, I was able to improve my world ranking from 144 to 98, which gave me more confidence, Arshad Iqbal Burki said. “Playing against good players improved my game as well,” he added.
Arshad pointed out that last year playing in four events in the USA
he was seven seeded in Rhode Island Open, USA where he finished in quarter-final, followed by Baltimore Cup, USA where he was beaten in first round and semi-final berth in NSC Super Satellite No.4, Malaysia, quarter-finalist in NSC-1 Star No2, Malaysia, winner of Malaysian NSC Satellite No.2. Arshad took part in 13 PSA events in 2008, lost six in the first round, five in the quarter-finals, a loss in the semi-final and victory in one event.
He has represented Pakistan in World team event in Italy and was a member of the Asian Junior team in India, Burki touched highest 52 world ranking by achieving an average to 43.500.
After renewal of his PSA membership besides paying a penalty amount of 200 pounds when he was fined for a throwing racket during the match against 2nd seeded Rosener of Germany in NSC Super Satellite Circuit in Malaysia.
He said he would a have chance of playing against players from Canada, England, Australia, Malaysia, USA, Egypt. “Playing against different players of the world would certainly help me in improving my game,” he added.
He commended the President of the Pakistan Squash Federation for his dedicated efforts for the promotion of the squash in the country.
“Playing in USA under Pakistani flag is an honour for me.”he remarked.
A former National Junior No.1 and Pakistan No. 3, he slipped to 156 in the world ranking but played well and improved his ranking to 98. “I will try my level best to improve my world ranking to play in more good events in the US circuit.—APP