ISLAMABAD           -           USA top female squash player Sabrina Sobhy has lauded the love, hospitality and care, she received in Pakistan during her six-day stay in this beautiful country, terming it beautiful, lovely and peaceful one.

In an interview with The Nation, Sabrina said: “It is a shame that people think so much negative about Pakistan, but the reality is completely different. Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF), people and all the players are highly helpful and I will always remember the love, hospitality and care, I have received in Pakistan during my six-day stay in this country.”

Just before her departure to USA after winning the women event of the $12,000 Serena Hotels-Huawei Pakistan International Squash Tournament-2019, where she hammered Egyptian Hana Moataz 3-0. Sabrina is the younger sister of USA top women squash player Amanda Sobhy, who is the highest ranked American ever in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) rankings.

She said although it is her first ever visit to Pakistan, but she already enjoyed her stay in this country. “All the negativity surrounding about Pakistan is mainly because of media hype. I strongly recommend that the PSA players and international body must just once visit Pakistan and they will realise that there is nothing like what we is heard or read in the newspapers. All the people here are highly supportive and they fully backed me.

“Despite being American, I enjoyed enormous crowd support here. They were cheering for me and it motivated me a lot. I came to Pakistan just to play my natural game and winning the event was never in my mind, but after winning the first match, my confidence was sky high and the way I got the support of the crowd, it played instrumental role in helping me win the title,” she added.

Sabrina Sobhy, who born in 1996, is still 23 and she is a professional squash player, who represented United States and reached a career high world ranking of 47 in January 2014. She is a student of Harvard University and also plays for her varsity squash team. “I have experienced only positive thing so far about Pakistan is that it is been extremely welcoming and supportive. It truly shows how much Pakistanis want every player to come and feel comfortable here.

“I don’t feel unsafe here for even a while, as it is very safe place to not only travel but also to play all kinds of sports events. I never back myself to just go and win. I always have great deal of pressure and I love to perform under pressure,” she added.

When asked which thing inspires her to join squash, Sobhy said: “The matter of the fact is that my entire family, my father, brothers and sister play squash and I want to show myself that I am playing the best squash and battle for every point.”

When asked about rivalry starts at her home as Amanda is the top ranked US player and she plays second fiddle role or she gives her full-fledge contest, Sabrina replied: “It is always been friendly. Off course, we brought up playing squash, but we respect each other as well. We both are great squash players and it is more fun than one should call it rivalry and as younger sister, it has never pressure on me rather all the pressure is on her. We grew up playing squash almost same time and our father was a very good squash player.”

To another query regarding her favorite player, Sobhy said: “Egyptian Raneem El Welily is my favourite player. I idolise her and want to become a true champion like her. USA player Todd Harrity is my best friend and I enjoyed a lot in Pakistan and looking forward to come here again. As a player and as an American, my message to PSA and WSF is very clear that Pakistan is a safe place to host all kinds of sporting events and it must be given a good number of tournaments throughout the year.”