Injured Nasir loses semis as Pakistan’s last hope in Asian Senior Squash C’ship dashed
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Last Pakistani hope Nasir Iqbal Saturday also crashed out in the semifinals of the 21st Asian Senior Individual Men’s Squash Championship 2021 as he lost 3-0 against Yip Tsz Fung of Hong Kong at Mushaf Squash Complex on Saturday.
Nasir was carrying an injury for the last couple of days and despite making several requests to the federation to arrange a physio so he could heal his hamstring injury he could not get one.
Earlier Pakistan Squash Federation had taken Kashif as a physio in the Asian Senior Men’s team squash championship 2021, played in Malaysia but Kashif never was a physio and didn’t know even the ABC about physio role. Pakistan Spots Board also had not provided any physiotherapist’s services to the PSF for such a high-profile event. Had the federation rather than wasting time and money on irrelevant persons, hired the services of a trained physio, things would have been much different.
Nasir was facing massive pain well before the start of the semifinal; he informed the concerned persons that he could not even warm-up, which is a must before every match. But he put up a brave front and decided to play through the injury barrier.
In the first game, Nasir matched fire with fire, but his hamstring injury was not a lighter one as the pain was getting out of control. Nasir somehow managed to complete the first game and lost the game 6-11. Against all the odds, Nasir turned up to play the second game as well, but he was not able to even move and was trying to give his best. He lost the second game 4-11 and in the third game, curtains were already down. Everybody was expecting Nasir to shake hands at any moment and conceded the game and match. Nasir after going 1-3 down, decided enough is enough and shook hands with opponent Yip Tsz Fung, who will play the final against Ng Eain Yow of Malaysia, who defeated Lau Tsz Kwan of Hong Kong in the earlier semifinal, winning 11-4, 11-4 and 11-9.
While in the girl’s semifinals, Tong Tsz Wing defeated compatriot Liu Tsz Ling 3-1 in a keenly contested encounter. Tong won the first game 12-10, lost second 4-11, won third 11-4 and took the 4th game 11-6 to set a final meeting with Malaysian Rachel Mae Arnold, who defeated Ho Tze Lok of Honk Kong 3-1, winning 11-4, 11-9, 5-11 and 11-7.
The girls final will be played at 2:00 pm, while the men’s final will start at 3:00 pm. Pakistan Squash Federation Senior Vice President Air Marshal Aamir Masood will grace the occasion as chief guest, while Pakistan Sports Board Director General Col (retd) Asif Zaman, former world squash champion Qamar Zaman and others will also present on the occasion.
It is hoped that after such dismal performances, Pakistan Squash Federation President will take stern action against the highly unqualified coaches and others, who are responsible for taking Pakistan squash to new lows.
Had Indian players also participated in the championship, Pakistani players would have not even cleared the first rounds. Rather than making tall claims and trying to fool the masses, it is high time that the federation must start a countrywide talent hunt program as hiring only international coaches won’t serve any purpose rather it would be a huge burden on national wealth as the federation doesn’t even have a handful of players.
The federation must contact Aamir Atlas, Danish Atlas, Farhan Mehboob and others, especially those who had turned their backs due to the federation policies and applying their trade abroad as it is the only viable solution to Pakistan squash woes. Unless top players come back and start training, Pakistan squash will go down further.