PESHAWAR - Former world squash champion Jansher Khan has urged the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) President to send national team for World Team Squash Championship in USA, scheduled to be held by the end of this year.

In an interview with The Nation, Jansher said: “We have ruled the squash world for decades and it would be highly embarrassing, if Pakistan team doesn’t participate in the mega championship, as it is about the prestige and reputation of the country. If PSF feels that the senior team is not worth sending, then I strongly recommend that it must send junior players instead of the seniors and let them play freely without any pressure of producing results. It will help them get huge exposure and big games experience.”

Jansher suggested the players to work on three areas - fitness, training and top class coaching. “I believe without these three things, we can never get the best results at international level. The current coaches have failed to deliver so they must be replaced with the professional ones, who must train our players according to modern techniques.”

He said he will attend the Annual General Council meeting of the PSF, which will be chaired by its president on September 4 and 5. “I will unveil names of a few coaches and if the federation pays heed towards my suggestions, I can guarantee that Pakistan will start producing world champions.

“I can’t give exact date and time frame, but I know that we are blessed with natural talent and there is a dire need to train this talent for at least 6 to 8 hours. If they sleep at 3:00am, how they can get up at 5:00am for training. I know players are to be blamed for not putting more efforts for winning world titles,” he added.

Jansher said that these players are highly fortunate that the federation is taking care of them and providing them with PSA tournaments and best facilities including accommodation, meal and coaches so in return, they must give out their best and earn laurels for the country. I am going to Hashim Khan and Jansher Khan courts daily, where I can see some very talented junior players, but they need to work hard and give extra time to their fitness and training to produce better results at higher level.”

He said: “We should come out of 1996, when I last won the world title, rather we should focus on present pool of players. If these senior players start working hard and stop wasting time on irrelevant things, they can be the world champions but lack of proper attention, fitness, hard work and hunger to be the best are the main hurdles between them and world titles.

“The junior players have recently provided good results. The federation needs to work on modern lines and should appoint young coaches to improve the games of our future stars in the best possible manner. I request the federation not to send those persons on tours, who are not more than liabilities,” he added.

The squash legend said: “By not sending team for World Team Championship, we will not only demoralise our players, but also inflict huge damages on the name of Pakistan, as we are home of champions and we must not skip mega championship. The new setup is about to take over the federation, so I will talk to them and convey my recommendations.

“I believe Pakistan team needs qualified coaches, not part-timers. They have sent junior players to Egypt, which was never witnessed before. The players need to be disciplined and must not waste national money by training half-heartedly. We can win titles, like we used to win in the past, but for this, they must put sincere efforts and train very hard,” Jansher concluded.