Budding squash star Khushal Riaz vows to make a mark


Promising teenage squash player Khushal Riaz Khan returned home on Monday after representing Pakistan in US junior open squash tournament in under 13-category and vowed to earn a good name to the country in future.
“Representing Pakistan internationally was an honour for me. I played a lot and got a lot of experience from my participation in this tournament,” Khushal said upon his return.
One of the biggest in squash’s history, the event in New Haven area of Connecticut brought 905 squash players from 37 countries face to face in different categories during the last week of December. All the matches took place at Yale University, Trinity College, Wesleyan University and Rosemary Hall Choate.
Khushal, an emerging squash star, played outstandingly in the U-13 category in which at least 128 players from 37 countries competed. Khushal got by in the first round of the tournament and qualified for the third round after defeating US player Tighe Mullerkey 3-1.
In another match, he thrashed Egypt’s Haggag Abdel Rehman and cruised to quarter-finals where he faced another Egyptian player Youssef Ali Kholy but unfortunately withdrew due to injuries.
Currently, Khushal is at number 115 in the international ranking for European squash federation. He started his squash career under the supervision of Pakistan Sports Board Director Mohibullah Khan at the PSB Squash Academy in the Qayyum Stadium Complex and received special coaching from Pervez Ali, Shehzad Mohib and Adil Khan. He has participated in different national and international squash tournaments in the past including British Junior Open Squash Championship in Sheffield, England, where he stood 23 among 64 players.
Prior to his participation in the US junior open squash tournament, Khushal was coached by Falak Naz who also accompanied him to the US.
Other Pakistani players also played tremendously in the US junior open squash tournament, as the U-19 category was won by Israr Ahmad. Besides, Pakistani players succeeded in making to the semis and finals of the various categories of the event.
Khushal said that the whole credit went to players and their coaches as well as Pakistan Squash Federation President Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Squash Association President Qamar Zaman.
He said that he learned many new things and techniques about squash in the US. “I will properly utilise them in future.”
He said he was also thankful to world renowned squash coach Shahid Zaman who offered him some tips during the tournament.