KARACHI: After two weeks of hustle and bustle at the DA Creek Club, the scene has been shifted to the PN Roshan Khan-Jahangir Khan Squash Complex where the US$18,000 13th CNS International Squash Championship begins on Thursday.
Men’s and women’s competitions ran concurrently in the preceding two events — DHA Cup and the Pakistan Open — but the CNS spectacle is restricted to men’s.
The five-day event that culminates on Dec 10 will see 12 foreigners from eight nations and as many Pakistanis vying for honours.
The foreign players who will participate belong to Egypt, Hong Kong, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal and Qatar.
Zahed Mohamed routed Omar Abdel Meguid 12-10, 11-9, 6-3 (retired) in absorbing all-Egyptian final that lasted for 63-minutes to win the title in the last edition held at Islamabad in 2016.
Flanked by squash legend Jahangir Khan and Sindh Squash Association (SSA) secretary Rashid Ahmed, tournament director Cdre Habib-ur-Rehman spelt out the details at a press conference held at the venue on Tuesday.
Recalling Pakistan Navy’s contribution to the game he said it dates back to the creation of the country with one court at Manora.
He added that the naval interest to uplift the game grew with the passage of time and the venue that was established in 1991 is one such example in this regard.
Tracing the background of CNS Squash he said it was launched in 2000 with a purse of US $ 6000 and today it has increased twofold.
Mexican Arturo Salazar, who lost to Peru’s Diego Elias in the semi-final of the Pakistan Open, has been top seeded in the draw.
Salazar is followed by Pakistan’s Asim Khan, Farhan Mehboob and Kuwait’s Ammar Altamimi respectively. Top eight seeds who have got a first round bye: 1-Arturo Salazar (Mexico), 2-Asim Khan (Pakistan), 3-Farhan Mehboob (Pakistan), 4-Ammar Altamimi (Kuwait), 5-Rui Soares (Portugal), 6-Ahsan Ayaz (Pakistan), 7-Shahjehan Khan (Pakistan), 8-Israr Ahmed (Pakistan).