International Squash League in Balochistan Hits a Snag
from our correspondent

November 29, 2019

KARACHI: An international squash league being played in Balochistan featuring former world champion Karim Abdel Gawad has hit a snag.

Chairman Balochistan Squash Association (BSA) Sher Ali Kakar has served a legal notice to Ahmed Raza, Secretary Sports Government of Balochistan, and Durra Baloch, Director General Balochistan Sports Board, for issuing grant to the illegal squash association that is conducting this squash league.

“The Grant in Aid is also being issued to the illegal association for International Squash League which is totally against the Sports Policy 2008 and against the order dated 01-10-2019 Passed by High Court of Balochistan as the grant can only be disbursed to legally elected body. Hence, a contempt of court will be initiated against you,” stated the legal notice.

A copy of this notice was also sent to Chairman National Accountability Board (NAB) Javed Iqbal.

It is to be noted that the 2nd Balochistan International Squash League (BISL) was held in Quetta from November 28-30.

“Over 11 million Pakistani rupees were spent on this league at the time when the province is facing acute shortage of drinking water,” said Kakar.

He added that this wastage of government funds by the Chief Minister Baluchistan’s relative Prince Agha Umar on this useless activity is very unfortunate.

Besides Gawad, world number 19 Mazed Hesham of Egypt, world number 29 Greg Lobban of Scotland and former British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez of Colombia also participated in the league.

The foreign players played against Pakistan’s Zahir Shah from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Jahanzeb Yousuf from Quetta, Owais Rasheed from Sindh and M Uzair from Punjab.

“Thousands of dollars have been paid to these foreign players to feature in this league. And this is not even a sanctioned international event,” said Kakar.

He added that this is being done for personal promotion with the help of parallel squash association and Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF).

Kakar said Arshad Khan of parallel BSA is the secretary of the league, which shows that this illegal body is managing this activity that is completely against the national sports policy.

He added that this is a clear violation of revised national sports policy 2005, provincial sports policy 2008, and Balochistan Sports Board Act 2009.

“I will lodge a complaint with the anti-corruption department of the province for this sheer wastage of government funds,” said Kakar.

The winner of the league got $5000 and the runner-up won $2500. The third and fourth position players got $1500 and $1000, respectively.

Other players got $500 each. The first edition of the BISL was held last year in November in Quetta in which players from Britain, Mexico, Malaysia and Hong Kong participated.

“This league was completely a useless activity and the only person who got benefitted from this was the promoter of the event,” said a local coach from Sindh.

The coach added that the board of BISL should have considered the efficacy of the league as how it would help the game of squash in the province and the players of the country.

“This sort of decisions is very bad as they are just wasting huge money with zero outcome. The money should have been spent on the development of players and squash in Balochistan,” said the coach.