Peshawar to host three Int’l squash tournaments this year: Qamar Zaman

PESHAWAR (APP): Former World Champion and Vice President of Pakistan Squash Federation Qamar Zaman Thursday said that Peshawar would host three international tournaments this year including an event for women of worth US $ 45000 at PAF Hashim Khan Squash Complex.

Talking to media men during the opening ceremony of the KP Falak Sher Junior Age Group Squash Championship being played in three different categories – Under-11, Under-13 and Girls here at PAF Hashim Khan Squash Complex, Qamar Zaman disclosed that they have given tentative dates to the Pakistan Squash Federation for holding three different events. Late Falak Sher, a 14-year-old squash player died of cancer last year.

He said the first event will be of US $ 5000 for the Women, followed by an international junior event for boys of US % 15000 and a Senior Category event of worth US $ 25000. “We want to organize the international squash tournament in Peshawar, a city produced seven World Champions who rules almost for 37 long years but due to lack sponsorship the KP Squash Association could not able to organize. Qamar Zaman, who was also holding the President Pakistan Squash Federation Pride of Performance Trophy, said that KP Squash Association won the trophy for the fourth consecutive times of holding record 22 tournaments last year despite meager resources of fund.

Directorate of Sports is giving Rs. 0.7 million annually and holding 20 to 22 tournament every year is tough task to achieve but with the grace of Almighty Allah we are winning the tournament purely on merit. He said players from England, Australia, US, New Zealand, Eygpt, Malaysia, and India are willing to visit Peshawar and even want to visit Nawa Khali, a village produced seven World Champions, but we are not giving clearance. Now things in right direction and the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) and Professional Squash Association (PSA) are more interested in holding three international events in Peshawar, Qamar Zaman added.

He said that Professional Squash Association has allotted a total of 19 international events including event for women would certainly help the Pakistani players to improve their ranking. He said soon Peshawar would become a hub of international squash events. The events would be safer as compare to other cities, he said.

He disclosed that KP Squash Association have already completed 12 different tournaments including event for women at KP and National levels and announced 12 more tournaments in the remaining six months period.

He said, Falak Sher Memorial Independence Day Squash tournament will follow League matches of top 16 players, All Pakistan National Bank Junior Squash Championship in age group Under-11, U-13, Under-15 and Under-17 , All Pakistan Men Senior Squash Championship in August and September, All Pakistan ICRC Red Crescent Junior Championship in U-11, U-13, U-15, Under-15 and Under-19 category, All Pakistan National Junior Girls Tournament in October, In Nov All Pakistan Nawa Khali Hero’s Junior Squash Championship in U-11, U-13-13, U-15, and U-17, ICMS All Pakistan Women Squash Championship, All Pakistan National Junior Squash Championship in U-13, U-15 and U-17 categories and All Pakistan Men Squash Championship in November and December respectively.

World Champion Qamar Zaman born in 1952, in Quetta, Pakistan. He was one of the leading players in the game during the 1970s and 1980s. His biggest triumph was winning the British Open in 1975. He was also runner-up at the World Open four times, losing to Geff Hunt of Australia. Qamar won the Pakistan junior squash Championship in 1968. On his first trip to the UK in 1973, he reached the semi-finals of the British Amateur championship. In 1974, he reached the semi-finals of the British Open and won the Australian Amateur Championship.

In the 1975 British Open, Qamar beat the defending-champion Geoff Hunt of Australia in the quarter-finals, and went on to win the title beating his fellow Pakistani player Gogi Alauddin in the final 9-7, 9-6, 9-1. Subsequently, Qamar reached the British Open final on four further occasions.

He was runner-up to Hunt in 1978, 1979 and 1980, and to Jahangir Khan in 1984. He was also runner-up at the World Open four times, losing to Hunt in the finals of 1976, 1979 and 1980, and to Jahangir in 1984. Three times World no. 1 and 11 times World No. 2, Qamar Zaman won 116 international matches.

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