Byline: Mohsin Ali
ISLAMABAD -- A 12-member Pakistani junior contingent along with three officials left for England to take part in the British Junior Squash Championship 2019 from Islamabad International Airport on Sunday morning.
The players include national champion Abdullah Nawaz and Sakhi Tareen in U-13, Hamza Khan and Anas Ali Bukhari in U-15, Noor Zaman, Asad Ullah, Ashab Arfan and Walid Khalil in U-17 and Haris Qasim, Hamza Sharif and Uzair Shoukat in U-19. Asif Khan is the coach while Air Cmdr (R) Aftab Sadiq Qureshi and Hussain Odhwani are team managers.
Talking to The Nation prior to their departure, national U-13 champion Abdullah Nawaz said, 'It is my first-ever British Junior. I know the federation, country and coaches along with my parents are looking at me with the hope that I will deliver for Pakistan in this prestigious event, in which we had dominated once for decades. Although it is British Junior, but none of the Pakistanis has managed to win this in any category since long.'
'There will surely be pressure on me but I know I have to carry forward the national hope and I will not disappoint my country and will give my 100 percent to bring the title where it belongs. I have undergone intensive training for last two months at Pakistan National Squash Academy under the watchful eyes of coaches Asif Khan and Fazal Shah. I am ready to face mainly Egyptian challengers,' he added.
Sharing his views, Sakhi Tareen said: 'I am ready to deliver for Pakistan and won't take any opponent lightly. Although the main pressure will be on Abdullah, but I will give him full support and ensure it would be all Pakistan final in Under-13 category. We are ready and hungry to win title for the country.'