Q) This year,
JK) Winning and losing is all part of the game. Every player works hard for the tournament. Overall if you look at the tournament, and performance of all the players, I would say
For such tournaments, players come from all over the world and have worked hard to win it. And despite the fact that
Q) You saw the
JK) If you look at the Championship, you will see that all the players played very well and are also very young (between the ages of 15-18). I had seen some of them play in
Q) Currently, you are the President of World Squash Federation (WSF). Are there any steps being taken to include Squash in the Olympics?
JK) For the past many years, we have been trying to include Squash in the Olympics. In fact, there are many sports like Squash,
Today, WSF have over 150 member countries and 15 million registered squash players worldwide. We are a popular sport that needs to be given a chance at Olympics. The Olympic committee will deliberate on the final list of the sports for 2012 games in June 2005. We do hope that they consider the popularity of Squash and decide in its favor.
Q) Computer Analysis are now becoming common in almost every sport in the world. Is this an important aspect for winning today?
JK) If you look at the big picture, you will notice that the records in Squash were made earlier not today. And they were made without computers. In fact, if computers were really helping them improve that much than they should have broken all old records by now. These are all artificial ways of assisting the players move ahead. However, if the player is genuinely talented and has the natural ability than these things do not assist him much.
Q) What are the most important things for a youngster who picks up squash as a sport?
JK) Well, I would say, he should be clear about his goals. What targets he wants to achieve? The second most import thing is passion for the game. He should also be disciplined and have faith in his abilities and time that he is willing to spend on learning and playing this sport. Hence, hard work in a structured way is required for anyone to achieve his goals.
Also, one should not be satisfied and relaxed after winning a few matches or tournaments. That is not the end of the day. One should continue to achieve even higher goals. You are a complete player the day you retire from the game and not before that.
Q) You have been involved with the game all your life. Have you ever considered coaching youngsters?
JK) I have had numerous offers to train players or national teams, but I am not planning on that right now. However, in the long run, I would like to establish an academy for Squash and would like to participate regularly in its activities and will also try to involve other coaches and players that I have worked with in the past. This academy will assist in harnessing the abundant talent available in the country.
Q) There is hardly any Pakistani now in the top 20 of Professional Squash Circuit. What needs to be done beyond what is already done to achieve a higher ranking?
JK) I don’t see any improvement can be done to our senior players. They were top players in the Junior circuit but have not performed as well later. Their contemporaries in the under 19 level are already penetrating the top 10 list. I guess, our players did not utilize the facilities to their fullest potential. Take the example of James Wilstrop. He was a former world junior champion. Today he is ranked world no 8 in less than two years. Therefore, I would advice the Pakistanis to work and train even harder than the rest to achieve higher goals. That is the only way they can win some tournaments and bring glory to Pakistan.
Interview conducted by Atif Mumtaz