ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has decided to retain same men and women teams, which took part first in the Asian Senior Team Championship in Korea and then in the Commonwealth Games in Australia for the upcoming Asian Games to be held in Jakarta (Indonesia) from August 18 to September 2.

The trials were conducted way back in February this year and that time, the things were different, but now the federation had the luxury of having the likes of Farhan Mehboob, Aamir Atlas and Danish Atlas (who returned home from USA), while the $10,000 Series tournament will commence today (Tuesday), which was golden opportunity for the federation to check both male and female players, as $5000 event will take place for the ladies as well at Mushaf Squash Complex. The results of the tournament would have helped the PSF in deciding their future course of action, but the reasons best known to the federation, they opted to retain the same team for the mega event, where Pakistan had golden chances of winning silverware.

This scribe several times tried to contact PSF secretary Tahir Sultan, to know what was the reason behind keeping faith in the same team, who were a huge disappointment in the Commonwealth Games, while male players lost the final in the Asian Senior Team Championship against Hong Kong, but despite repeated attempts, the secretary neither picked call nor he called back.

Pakistan squash could have taken benefit from Aamir, Danish and Farhan Mehboob, while Farhan Zaman could have formed formidable team and it would be a real challenge for all the participating nations to beat a full to strength Pakistan team as they are a proven stuff and had won gold medal for Pakistan in the Asian Games 2010 in China. The then team comprised of Aamir Atlas, Danish Atlas, Farhan Mehboob and Yasir Butt. Now fortunately, Aamir and Danish are back, so the federation should explore options and take their best available side to ensure chances of fighting it out for gold.

Had the PSF picked up a full strength team, it would have brighten Pakistan’s chances of fighting for gold rather than struggling to finish on podium. The logic behind retaining the same side is hard to absolve, as it would serve no purpose to the federation or the country.

Pakistan squash is badly missing Farhan Mehboob, Aamir and Danish for the last two years or so and last results of Pakistan squash in team events is no secret to everyone. Danish, upon his return from USA, has beaten every player he had played against while the $10,000 tournament would have been ideal platform to judge players’ performances and would also help the PSF pick the best available national team.

Now according to announced team, same players Farhan Zaman, Tayyab Aslam, Amaad Fareed and M Asim Khan will represent Pakistan in the men’s event, while Madina Zafar, Faiza Zafar and Riffat Khan will represent the country in ladies category.

According to the PSF press release, a training camp will start for the selected players immediately after the Pakistan Squash Circuit-1 in Islamabad under the guidance of Pakistan National Squash Academy (PNSA) coaches available in Islamabad.