ISLAMABAD - The 12th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) $25,000 International Squash Championship 2016 will commence today (Sunday) here at Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex.

Tournament Director Commodore Khalid Pervaiz, while addressing a press conference on Saturday, unveiled glittering trophy of the championship and said: “The inaugural CNS championship was held in 2012 and the prize money was $6000, which has now enhanced to $25,000. As many as 40 players including 10 international players from various countries of the world will also be seen in action.”

He said conducting such a high-profile event would certainly help improve sports-loving image of the country. “The main round will start from October 19 with Navy is hosting of the championship. We will try to provide the best facilities to the visiting players so that they may return home with pleasant memories.”

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) honorary secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz tendered unconditional apology to the journalists for security issues during the recently-concluded Chief of Army Staff (COAS) $25,000 International Squash Championship, in which they were not allowed to cover the final due to security protocol of the Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif. “On behalf of the PSF, I regret the incident and assured this time no such incident will occur.”

Amir said he had accepted the reality that their present crop of players didn’t have worth of playing more than $15,000 events and majority of them kept on struggling while playing against top PSA players. “There is a dire need to hunt fresh and promising talent to fill the void. We also are still waiting for the outcome of Nasir Iqbal dope test which were conducted during the 12th South Asian Games in India. His absence has been hurting Pakistan’s chances since last 8 months. We are quite hopeful about positive response from WADA regarding Nasir’s test report. As soon as his is cleared, Pakistan chances of winning the international events will get boost.”

“We are expecting to conduct the CNS event in a befitting manner. The participation of international players in such a number is a clear indication that the WSF, the PSA and international players pose complete confidence in our abilities and soon we will be allocated more high-price tournaments like Pakistan Open and others events,” Amir concluded.