ISLAMABAD - Pakistan squash players’ pathetic performances in PSA events continue unabated, as only Tayyab Aslam managed to win his first round match in the HKFC International in Hong Kong.

Both Israr Ahmed and Amaad Fareed crashed out at very first hurdle. Israr Ahmed was beaten by Malaysian Mohd Syafiq Kamal 2-3 in 55 minutes. Syafiq lost the first game 10-12, but won the second 11-9, lost again the third 3-11, before winning the fourth 11-9 and fifth 11-7 to send Israr packing. Amaad Fareed was thrashed by Indian Ramit Tandon 3-0 in 26 minutes. He lost the match 6-11, 7-11, 5-11.

Tayyab Aslam was the only Pakistani player, who advanced to the next round. Tayyab almost let the things slip out of his hands, before he finally managed to beat British Robert Downer 3-2 in 62 minutes. Tayyab won the first two games 11-8, 11-8, but then lost the momentum as Robert staged a comeback and won the next two games 7-11, 8-11. Tayyab bounced back well to take the fifth and decisive game 11-6 to move into the second round.

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It was time and again mentioned by this scribe that Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) needs to appoint a full-time internationally-reputed squash coach to stand any realistic chances of doing well in the PSA tournaments. Winning or making to the semifinals at home events, with the help of local referees is something else as compared to international events, where neutral referees conduct the matches and it is very hard for Pakistani players to make it to the next levels. But no heed in this regard was paid. It is high time when the PSF President should look into this important matter and take bold steps to help squash regain lost glory.