Tayyab, Madina lift Pakistan Int’l Squash titles

Poor referring cost Nasir final as PSF secretary vows to send referees abroad for training

By: Mohsin Ali      Published: 08:07 PM, 11 Dec, 2020
Tayyab, Madina lift Pakistan Int’l Squash titles

Top seed and Pakistan number 1 squash player Tayyab Aslam lifted the $12000 Pakistan International Tournament 2020 title as he beat Nasir Iqbal 3-2 in a highly breathtaking final played here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Friday.

Madina Zafar beat her elder sister Faiza Zafar 3-2 in the ladies $6000 final.

Former world squash champion Qamar Zaman was the chief guest on the closing ceremony, while Pakistan Squash Federation Honorary Secretary Group Captain Tahir Sultan along with others were also present on the occasion.

Despite repeated requests, Pakistan Squash Federation continued to allow highly controversial referee Asif Khan to conduct the final along with Sajjad Khan. Interestingly Asif is also the national coach and he was the tournament referee as well. It is quite strange that despite having WSF referees available, federation allowed Asif, Sajjad and other referees to conduct highly important matches.

Tahir Iqbal, coach of Nasir Iqbal had requested PSF Secretary Tahir Sultan to change the referee, but secretary flatly refused. Nasir was serving for the title when Asif gave let ball, which was clearly a point in favour of Nasir. For how long federation continue to get blackmailed at the hands of these referees. It’s a million-dollar question, which needed to be addressed.

While talking to this scribe PSF Secretary Group Captain Tahir Sultan promised to send referees for training courses and make sure quality refereeing in future tournaments: “It is not our fault, these referees are conducting events since long. Unfortunately, not a single course was conducted in the past. I once again request IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza to allocate funds so we could send not only referees but also players for the international events.”

Tayyab started the first game on a high pace and won the game 11-7. After losing the first game, Nasir bounced back in style to take the second game 11-6. He simply outclassed Tayyab in the third game ad won the game 11-3. Nasir was leading 10-7 in the fourth game when once again some dubious refereeing first allowed Tayyab to level the game and then he went on to win the game 12-10.

Same happened in the fifth game as well. Nasir was leading 10-8 and serving for the match, but Asif gave highly controversial decisions, which were more than enough for Tayyab to win the game 13-11, thus winning the title in 68 minutes of a highly tense battle.

The ladies final was all sisters affair, as Faiza Zafar, the elder sister was up against younger Madina Zafar. Madina started the first game on a fiery note and took the game 11-7. Madina simply hammered Faiza in the second game as she was in cruise control winning the game 11-1.

After losing two back-to-back games, Faiza showed her class in the third game as the top national player won the third game 11-7 and fourth game 11-7. It was a battle royal witnessed in the fifth and deciding game, as both players exhibited world-class squash. Both were not ready to go down without a fight and the game kept on swinging from one way to another. It was anybody’s game, but when it matters most, Faiza committed uncharacteristic blunders, which simply allowed Madina to settle down and create daylight. Madina was serving for the match at 10-7, but Faiza saved two match points before Madina finally managing to win the game 11-9, thus winning the championship 3-2 in 31 minutes.

Mohsin Ali

Mohsin Ali is a seasoned senior sports journalist, analyst and writer from Islamabad. Mohsin Ali never hesitates to appreciate the new talent as well as point out their flaws. He keeps nudging sports federations and authorities without any concessions to make them realise their incompetence and wrong decisions and always strive for the betterment of Pakistani sports.