Persian Gulf Open win boosts Aamir Atlas’ ranking
ISLAMABAD: After a long series of setbacks due to almost unending string of poor performance by Pakistan players at the international level, finally the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has received some relief as Aamir Atlas Khan clinched 5th Persian Gulf Open Squash Championship held in Kish, Tehran recently.
The win in the final of the PSA event carrying a cash prize of $12,000 also helped Aamir improve his international ranking.
According to PSA ranking table, Atlas scaled up to 14 points on the ranking table and is now ranked at 51.
Currently, Pakistan has three players in the PSA top-100 world ranking table. Besides Aamir, fast emerging Nasir Iqbal has touched world No.69 rank within a span of just one year while Yasir Butt is at 80th spot.
It is pertinent to mention that two Indian players — Saurav Ghosal (currently ranked world no.19) and Siddarth Suchde (world no.50) — put a question mark over Pakistan players’ rankings.
Pakistan could not see any player on the top PSA 10 ranking for almost a decade after the retirement of legendary Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan.
Meanwhile, talking to Dawn Aamir, 22, said: “The win in the Persian Gulf Open has helped me a lot in gaining better ranking at PSA international ranking table as I defeated Nasir Iqbal in the final of the championship.”
Nasir, 18, currently Pakistan’s top ranking national player, was beaten in the final by Aamir 5-11, 11-6, 11-7, 3-11, 8-11. The emerging Nasir is ranked 69 in the world and is possibly Pakistan squash’s new hope.
Atlas added that he would also be featuring in upcoming PSA events which would help him touch top 20 PSA world ranking table.
“I will be playing Karachi International Squash Championship which will be held from March 10 to 15,” said Aamir.
He added that the $12,000 event would be a good opportunity for Pakistan players to improve ranking besides getting a chance to test their mettle against international players.
“After the Karachi event I will be travelling to Kuwait to appear in the PSA Challenger 10 event carrying a cash prize of $10,000,” Aamir stated.