ISLAMABAD: Former world champion and squash legend Jansher Khan on Monday blamed wrong selection and gross mismanagement for Pakistan’s poor performance in the individual competitions at the ongoing World Junior Squash Championships in Chennai.
None of the Pakistan juniors in the individual competitions in Chennai could cross the pre-quarterfinal stage. The country will start the campaign in the team event at the tournament on Tuesday, in which according to Jansher, the chances of victory are very slim.
In the team event, Pakistan are placed in Group ‘F’ alongside Zimbabwe and the Czech Republic. Top two teams from each group will progress to last-16 knockout stage.
Jansher said the juniors’ poor performance in individual games made the entire nation “really disappointed”.
The coaches and trainers of the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) were responsible for the team’s poor show in Chennai, maintained the former world champion.
“Coaches and trainers of the PSF failed to [properly] prepare our players for this big event. All this mismanagement plus the selection of incompetent players were the main reasons for Pakistan’s failure in Chennai,” Jansher lamented according to a press release issued on Monday.
“The selectors committed gross negligence in the selection [of the national junior team] for such an important event. The players who were not picked on merit earned nothing for the country in Chennai,” he regretted. “Moreover, these [selected] players were not given proper training which aggravated the situation.”
The legend, who remained world’s top-ranked player for ten years, urged the PSF to launch proper investigation into the team’s failure in Chennai, adding “those found responsible should be treated accordingly”.
“Despite receiving huge funds from the federation, the performance of our coaches, trainers and players at the World Junior Squash Championships was very poor,” he said.
“Win and loss are part and parcel of every sport. However, defeats to Colombia and Mexico, the countries which are almost unknown in world squash circuit, is embarrassing.”
While reckoning that the PSF wasted funds by sending “incompetent” players to India for the World Junior Squash Championships, Jansher said the federation should arrange junior tournaments at home for providing the budding contestants the chance to improve their game.
Meanwhile, reacting to Jansher’s critical comment on the junior team’s show in Chennai, PSF secretary Tahir Sultan said the federation had been providing facilities and proper training to the players. Therefore, it is the players’ responsibility to perform.
“The juniors’ performance in the individual competitions [at Chennai] was not satisfactory,” Tahir acknowledged. “We are concentrating on developing juniors but it is difficult to get immediate results [in this regard].
“We are providing chances to juniors in national and international events, this is what we are doing. Before the team left for Chennai they underwent training in Islamabad and Karachi,” he said and added that the federation hopes Pakistan will do better in the team event.
“A balanced team was selected for the Chennai championship, and the team management did its best to help the players attain good results.”
The six-member Pakistan team selected for the World Junior (Individual & Team) Squash Championships comprises Abbas Zeb, Mohammad Uzair, Haris Qasim, Mohammad Farhan Hashmi, Asadullah Khan and Uzair Shoukat.
Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2018