KARACHI: Pakistan is fielding four top junior players in the British Junior Open 2022 that is to be held in Nottingham from July 20-24.
Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has entered the names of Anas Ali Shah, Noor Zaman, Hamza Khan, and Ashab Irfan in the under-19 category.
Anas has national junior ranking number 2, Noor Zaman has PSA ranking 111, Ashab Irfan is number one junior player (PSA ranking 152), and Hamza has PSA ranking 153 (national ranking 6th).
Pakistan has bright chances of winning the title since all these players are in good form and Noor recently won Asian Junior Championship in Thailand.
Hamza, who won the BJO under-15 title in its last edition in 2020, is also training hard in the United States these days.
It is to be noted that the event this time is only for under-19 categories after the cancellation of the original event with all categories in January this year.
The draw is of 64 places and the seeding will be done according to PSA rankings, previous BJO results and other major junior competitions.
The organisers have allowed only three entries from each national association and this may increase to 4 entries in case there is any adjustment to draws amidst withdrawals.
England Squash Chief Executive Officer Mark Williams explained the rationale behind holding this event in July.
“Since the original date in January, significant progress has been made with the easing of international travel restrictions and we are delighted that the under 19 players will have the chance to take part.
“We recognise that for many of the players this will be their final British Junior Open and we are really pleased to be able to give them one last opportunity to compete for this historic title,” he said.
Williams said that plans are also being laid for the full return of the British Junior Open in 2023 for all age categories.