World Junior Squash can thaw Indo-Pak sporting ties

By Omar Khalid, IANS
Monday, July 20, 2009

KARACHI - Pakistans squash officials are hoping that their teams participation in the World Junior Individual Squash Championships in Chennai this summer will help to renew sporting ties with India.

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) secretary Shams-ul Haq told IANS Monday that four of the countrys leading junior players will feature in the world championship to be played from July 20 to Aug 3.

It will be the first time that a Pakistani team will feature in a major sporting event in India since the relations between the two neighbours were strained after Mumbai terror attacks last year.

We hope that our boys will play some role in improving Pakistans sporting relations with India, Shams-ul Haq said.

Unlike in the past, Pakistan shall not field any seeded players in the championship.

Pakistans Aamir Atlas Khan was the top seed in the 2008 event held in Zurich but lost to Egypts Mohammad El-Shorbagy in the final of the world junior individual event.

This time Pakistan has dropped several of its top junior players including Waqar Mehboob and Aamirs younger brother Danish Atlas as the PSF wants to blood younger players in the national youth team to prepare them for the 2010 World Junior Team Championships.

We are defending world junior team champions and want to defend our title next year, said Shams. That is why we have decided to send only those players to Chennai who will be eligible to feature in the next years world team championship, he added.

Pakistans team includes 17-year Nasir Iqbal, Aurangzeb Mohmand, Nausherwan and Farhan Zaman.

The PSF has appointed Qamar Zaman, a former British Open champion, as the manager of the team which will leave for Chennai July 25.

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