Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has decided to honour Aamir Atlas Khan in the best possible way for winning laurels for the country after a gap of 14 years.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Friday, PSB Director General Syed Amir Hamza Gilani said: “According to the PSB rules, we can't give any cash incentive to Aamir, but we will treat him as a special case and not only announce a good reward for him on behalf of the board but will also strongly recommend the government to facilitate him in the best possible way.”

Gilani said he had talked to the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) secretary Wing Commander Abdul Wahab Marwat and advised him to recommend the name of Aamir for ‘Pride of Performance’ to President of Pakistan. We will strongly support his nomination and I am very much confident Aamir will receive this prestigious award, keeping in mind his outstanding performance in the recently-concluded Asian Squash Championship in Islamabad.”

When this scribe asked Gilani that head coach Jamshed Gul had played a very significant role in transforming same players into one of the bests but no one was ready to give him his due credit, neither the PSF had mentioned him in the written request to the PSB for cash incentives, Gilani replied: “It is the duty of the concerned federation to access performances of the certain individuals. I agree coach has a very major role in team or players success and I will also recommend Jamshed for the special incentive and try to get same benefit for him as well.”

When this scribe asked Gilani that PSB had established a special fund for the outstanding federations or individuals so why not Aamir and Jamshed be provided cash incentives from that particular grant, Gilani said: “The special grant is meant for those federations who come up with the idea of organising games at national level or participation of athletes in the international events. We will not let down Aamir and coach Jamshed and will fight their case with the government and try to get best possible cash awards for them, as they have made the country proud by winning the Asian Squash Championship.”

To another query regarding provision of special grants to squash players for participating in the PSA events, the PSB DG said: “The PSF should write in detail about their future plans and then we will take this issue in the PSB committee meeting and hopefully, these players will accommodated on merit.”

He said the PSF should have written to the PSB much earlier if they felt they were finding difficulties as far as funds were concerned. “We are releasing the PSF annual grants without any delay. If they had taken up this issue they could have benefited since long, as I had emphasised on number of occasions that the PSB is ready to give special grants if the federations come up with solid ideas, but if no one bothers to discuss fresh ideas or take us on board, then what should I do. I have no other way of conveying my message to all the affiliated federations,” Gilani concluded.