Pakistani squash players forced to miss lucrative Hong Kong meet

Islamabad: After being forced to skip the $50,000 Malaysian Open due to visa issues, Pakistani squash players were compelled to miss the lucrative $150,000 Hong Kong Open by the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) and play in a $10,000 tournament in Peshawar.

The Pakistan International Squash Circuit II started in Peshawar Monday while the Hong Kong Open will kick-off Tuesday.

The Nation reported that PSF has compelled the players to play in the $10,000 event in Pakistan abandoning their plans of taking part in the $150,000 Hong Kong Open Squash in Hong Kong.

"The local events are of no use for Nasir Iqbal as well as the other top national players, as even wins in such events can`t give them points to enhance their PSA rankings. At least Nasir must be sent for high-profile events instead of playing in local events, which will help him climb to the PSA ranking rapidly. The PSF must focus on sending top players like Nasir, Aamir and Farhan Zaman more frequently to high-profile events. Now the time is ripe when the PSF should chalk out a comprehensive plan to send them to the maximum PSA events to improve their international rankings," the daily reported.

Last week, Pakistani players were forced to miss the Malaysian Open Squash Championship since they were not issued visas by the Malaysian High Commission.

The PSF had applied for visas well in time by Aug 11 but the Malaysian High Commission, along with other foreign mission offices, were closed due to the protests marches by opposition parties in the national capital. The world rankings of the Pakistani players would now take a hit following their having missed the tournaments in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

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