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Players should Work Hard

Posted on 07 May 2010 by PakBee - Total hits: 2,511

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KARACHI: Legendary squash player Jahangir Khan on Wednesday said that Pakistani squash players are talented but they lack the basic attributes needed to become a world champion.

“A player cannot become a world champion overnight. To become a champion, a player has to sacrifice a lot and to devote much of his time practising and training. There are always highly talented players in the international arena but only those reach the zeniths who dedicate everything for it,” Jahangir said.

“We used to practise for at least eight hours a day and after that we were able to play some good games in tournaments. When anyone made extraordinary efforts regularly, he needs no one to push or help him to reach the glory,” he added.

Jahangir, during his career won the World Open six times and the British Open a record ten times.

Between 1981 and 1986, he was unbeaten in competitive play for five years. During that time he won 555 matches consecutively.

This was not only the longest winning streak in squash history, but also one of the longest unbeaten runs by any athlete in top-level professional sports.

Jahangir is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game.

Jahangir said that players have to be highly fit before featuring in any tournament.

“Players will always end with an injury in tournament if he is not highly fit. International competition is very exhausting and a player must have trained well before he features in any international event.

“Fitness of a top-class squash player is very important and talent only can’t do the job. They have to get training regularly for at least eight hours a day so that they could put some good show in a two-hour match.”

He criticised Pakistani squash players and said that their demand comes first and efforts later.

“If you make efforts, it would certainly appear in a tournament and then the federation would be obliged to send players regularly. But if you can’t give good performance when you get a chance to feature in a tournament, it certainly shows that you hadn’t done the homework well.

“Any of the Pakistani players haven’t performed well in the major international tournaments they have played. See the other international players of their age such as Ramy Ashour and Mohamed El-Shorbagy of Egypt, how they have crept up in the rankings. They regularly give top performance, which shows they have worked well on their game and fitness,” Jahangir said.

He further said that the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) is wasting their time and money on overage players and they should bring in some young blood under consideration.

“By giving chances one after another to the aged players, the federation is wasting its time, money and the players’ time also. Moreover, the young player who has to replace them, their time is also being wasted as they are also getting older,” Jahangir stressed.

Jahangir further said that the coach and the trainer should have proper influence on the player and they should be able to force and compel players for training and practice.

“Unfortunately, here the coach and the trainer are under the influence of the obstinate players, who want to have coach or trainer of their choice. Subsequently they wouldn’t achieve anything if they continue to go like this,” said the former World No 1 player.

“I advise all the players to forget all the benefits they think they have the right to get from the federation, and concentrate on their game and practice as much as they can. This will be the only way that a player could toil in the international rankings. If they perform well, the federation will be forced to send them for other tournaments as well,” he added.—PPI



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