Former number 1 Nasir Iqbal announces return to squash world

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Mohsin Ali
ISLAMABAD, (TLTP): Former world number 35 and ex-Pakistan number 1 squash player, Nasir Iqbal has announced his return to squash world with big bang, as he won 5 back-to-back close satellite circuit squash tournaments held in Karachi.

While talking exclusively to The Law Today Pakistan (TLTP) on Thursday, relatively satisfied looking Nasir said, “It was dark and long four years wait, which I had to bear without any fault. I was banned for 4-years for using banned substance in 2016 during the 12th SAG held in India, a crime, which I never committed.”
He said that he ran from pillar to post to seek justice but all in vain. “Those were highly horrifying moments of my life, which I want to forget as quickly as I can. In fact, if my family was not with me, I would never have staged comeback. I spent days in hospitals as I was not able to absorb the shock.”

He further said that he specially wants to say thanks to his brother and mentor Tahir Iqbal Khan, who is also his coach, for standing like a wall during the hard times. “I am also thankful to Jahanzeb Masood, Osama Khan, Pakistan Squash Federation and all those who supported me,” he further said.

He maintained that victory in all recent tournaments will not only boost his confidence, but also gave him highly valuable PSA ranking points.
“Playing competitive squash after more than four years is a different feeling altogether, like I have always mentioned that squash is my life. Without playing squash, it was like fish without water,” he shared his feelings.

Responding to a question of TLTP, he said, “I managed to beat all my opponents in the five tournaments and didn’t drop a single game in all those matches. It became possible due to Jahanzeb Masood’s help, as he invited me to USA last year where I got training with top professional squash players. Soon upon my return from USA, I started receiving training in Peshawar by Tahir Iqbal Khan.”

He further said that Jahanzeb designed 5 circuit tournaments, which helped him a great deal, as he played against the top national players and also against the juniors, who were also very good players. “The victory against all the opponents gave me huge confidence, while, I played those events to prepare for mega Chief of Air Staff tournament, which was set to start at Mushaf Squash Complex Islamabad from April 3 to 7 and some other PSA tournaments,” he said. He added that unfortunately, due to spread of coronavirus, the CAS and other tournaments planned for the month of April are postponed. He said he would have to wait a little bit more before he could play in major PSA tournaments.

Nasir said, “Sometimes things are not in our hands. I am sure with joint efforts, soon the world will be clear of coronavirus and all kinds of sporting events will be up and running.”

He said he is fully prepared and wants to help Pakistan squash win more laurels, just like he had done in the past. “I was aiming high and was in top 30s when that unfortunate incident occurred. Despite four precious years of my life have gone and that too without my fault, time is still with me. I can still scale down new heights. I want to assure PSF and all my well-wishers that I am here to stay long. I will first recapture my national top ranking back and then next aim is to get back into top 50 and then break into top 10 as quickly as I can. I know it is tough task, but not impossible. I had tasted huge successes earlier and I know with sheer passion, hard work,dedication and with the prayers of people, I will manage to win titles, just like I managed to win five titles in a row,” he further shared his inner feelings.
“I once again want to thank all those who believe in me and always remained at my back throughout tough times,” he said.

“Asian Team Championship is my main target. I will do my utmost if selected for the national team to help Pakistan team win Asian Team Championship title,” vowed Iqbal.

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