‘Wildcards’ misuse has become norm in Pak squash’

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022

KARACHI: The misuse of wildcards through allocation to undeserving players in international events has become a norm in Pakistan squash, said an official of a provincial association while talking to ‘The News’.

“This has been happening for a long time. PSF does not have any policy in this regard,” he said. He added that this malpractice is not limited to international events. The situation is worse in the national circuit, he said.

“PSF should devise a policy to curb this misuse of wildcards because the biased awarding of wildcards shows that PSF is still under the influence of some squash families,” said the official. It has been observed that most of the time wildcards are given to those players who are already past their prime while deserving, talented juniors are ignored.

Former world number 16 Farhan Mehboob has been given wildcard for the CAS International Squash Championships that is scheduled in Islamabad next month. Former world number 14 Amir Atlas was given wildcard in the CAS International 2018 and he lost in the first round.

Besides, Sheraz Saleem, an organiser, awarded himself a wildcard in the FMC International Pakistan 2015 and he lost in the first round. When contacted, PSF Secretary Zafaryab Iqbal said that they do have a policy regarding allocation of wildcards. “At local level, every provincial association gets one wildcard while for international events the federation conducts trials,” said the secretary. He said Farhan got wildcard for the CAS Championship because he topped the trials conducted for the wildcard.