We Have Moved: Check out our all-new website!

Pakistan squash will rise: Nicol David

MANCHESTER, England: Malaysia’s world number one Nicol David believes Pakistan can regain their lost glory in world squash but need to be patient with their talented yet inexperienced players.

David, who is a hot favourite to regain the women’s World Open crown here, told ‘The News’ in an interview that she is quite impressed with the skills and talents of Pakistani youngsters Farhan Mahboob and Aamir Atlas Khan.

“Players like Farhan and Aamir can do really well in the future,” said David, nicknamed the “Duracell Bunny” because of her speed and durability.

Farhan, the reigning Pakistan number one and Aamir crashed out of the second round of the World Open squash Championship here at the Sportcity earlier this week.

It was yet another disappointing end for the Pakistani campaign in a World Open — a title that almost became their property in the glory days of legends Jahangir and Jansher Khan.

Critics back in Pakistan believe that the country’s chances of reviving its lost glory in squash are almost over but David believes that they should show more patience.

“Players need time to become the best. What I believe that Farhan and Aamir are really good but will only realise their potential once they get the required experience.”

David won the Women’s World Junior title in Belgium in June 1999 and then became the first player to claim the title for a second time — beating her Egyptian rival Omneya Abdel Kawy in the final in her home town of Penang two years later.

Since then she has scaled dizzying heights on the international circuit. Her achievements at the world level have inspired a whole generation of young Malaysians and has made squash one of the most popular sports in her native Penang.

David is confident that squash has a great future not just in Malaysia but in all of Asia. “Squash is one of the fastest growing sports in our region and I’m sure more and more players will start joining it in Asia in the coming years,” she stressed.

She pointed out that squash has made great strides in places like Hong Kong, Singapore and India and hoped that Pakistan will also soon make a successful comeback at the top.

David is hopeful that squash will make the cut for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Squash is a great sport and it’s my dream that it joins the Olympics,” said David who has also served as a World squash federation (WSF) ambassador in its campaign for squash’s inclusion in the Olympic Games.

“It’s every squash players dream to compete in the Olympic and win a medal for his or her country,” she said. “I would love to represent Malaysia in the Olympics and win a medal there.”

David said that even if she retires before competing in the Games, she will continue to campaign for squash’s inclusion in the Olympics.

She is very confident about her chances of winning back the World Open crown. “I’m playing really well here,” she said. “It’s the World Open and I’ve trained hard for it. Hopefully I’ll win here.”