LAHORE-Pakistan number one squash player Tayyab Aslam has said that his main target is to be among top 10 in world squash rankings.
Tayyab improved his PSA ranking rankings in April 2020, as he was 48th ranked PSA players, but in beginning of this month, he moved up to 43rd in PSA rankings, while two more Pakistani players, who are among to 100, also improved their PSA rankings, as Asim Khan moved up from 72 to 69 while Farhan Mehboob from 97 to 95.
In an interview with The Nation here on Friday, Tayyab said: “I am feeling amazing to achieve my best ever ranking in PSA World Tour and I am also the county’s number one squash player. I am working very hard on my fitness and also trying my best to further improve my game and skills. I have won three PSA titles in this season, which helped me improve my PSA ranking to 43 and also I did hard work with my coaches throughout this season. I would like to say thanks to my coach Abdul Rasheed and Punjab Squash Association Secretary Sheraz Saleem for their all-out support, which is the main reason behind my achievements.”
To a query regarding role of Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in his achievements, Tayyab said: “Although the PSF has little contribution in my feats at international level, yet I would like to give full credit to Punjab Squash Association, which is doing great job and facilitating its players well and also supported me throughout my squash career and in the recent achievements as well. They are running a professional squash academy here in Lahore and I always feel amazing to be a part of this academy.”
When asked whether top Pakistan squash players are justifying their roles, he replied: “Yes, all the players are doing hard work but the real issue is that they don’t have a much international exposure to show their skills at international level because of lack of sponsorship. The main problem, which I felt in my entire career, is a lack a sponsorship and overall system in our country. No doubt we have great talent but we need to improve our system to regain lost squash glory.
The government, Pakistan Squash Federation and especially corporate sector should come forward to support this game, in which the country has ruled the world for many decades. I assure them all of producing the best results at world level, if they invest heavily in squash and help in providing maximum international exposure and facilities to top players. The future of squash in Pakistan is quite bright but there is a dire need to take drastic steps to help the game and players excel at the highest level,” he added.
Tayyab, who has won two gold medals in South Asian Games and three PSA World Tour titles this season, lamented that despite being Pakistan No 1 squash player, he still doesn’t have an official sponsor while on the other hand, some players, who don’t deserve, are enjoying sponsorships, which is quite disheartening. “I request the multinationals companies and corporate giants to come forward and sponsor the genuine talent of the county, which if provided with the best facilities, they are more than capable of winning international laurels for the country. “The competition at international level is very tough and to reach that level, maximum participation in international events is the need of the hour, so besides hard work, the national squash players including me need international-standard facilities, opportunities and training. The better we will be facilitated, the better results we will produce in the PSA events,” Tayyab concluded.