ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan No 1 player Nasir Iqbal has said that he is fully fit and ready to rule the squash world once again.

Nasir’s four-year ban is set to expire in January next year. Talking to The Nation on Wednesday, he said: “I am working daily 4 to 5 hours on my fitness, training in and outside squash courts. I train in three sessions as around an hour or so before Iftar, two hours after Iftar in the court and one to two hours on my physical fitness. I am gradually getting into rhythm and I am grateful to my family especially my elder brother and coach Tahir Iqbal and my father for motivating me to continue my struggle.”

He said: “It (4-year ban) was dark period of my life. I can’t forget that I had won the SAG individual title and I was about to break into elite group of players in the PSA rankings, when four-year ban was imposed on me for using banned substance usage. I had time and again requested that I had done nothing wrong and my entire career is crystal clear, but nobody paid heed towards my requests and my golden four years were wasted. Even then my spirits are high and I am working day and night with my coach Tahir Iqbal and I am ready to excel again.”

Nasir said: “I have always put Pakistan ahead over my personal ambitions and always helped the country win international titles. In my short career, I had won a number of titles and I would have broken into world’s top 20 in 2016, if I was not handed over the 4-year ban. My case was never properly handled, otherwise I would have won more and more international medals for Pakistan.”

He said Pakistan is blessed with immense amount of talent and squash players have always made the country and nation proud. “We need to work on youngsters and I fully back this initiative. But we also need to take advantage from the likes of Aamir Atlas, Farhan Mehboob, Farhan Zaman, Danish Atlas. They have experience and both Aamir and Farhan remained instrumental in helping Pakistan in winning lot of medals in Asia as well as PSA events.

“I am hopeful that my ban would be relaxed as I have entered last few months of it. I am eager to enter the squash courts once again and want to grab top position in PSA rankings. My job is to work hard and train hard and leave the rest. My bother Tahir Iqbal is working very hard on my fitness and training and I am fully ready to make a strong comeback,” Nasir concluded.