Qamar Zaman: “Personally speaking”…

“As you probably know I have now signed with my friend Mohibullah Khan as professional with Goudie Squash International after having to work for living at Pakistan International Airlines  (PIA) and play my games as Amateur.

But because I make so many friends with PIA, I shall continue to be associated with them as well. Besides, they give me promotion!

Many times just lately, people ask me how long I play Squash, how much I play and who teach me…

Well, first sport I played was Tennis but I look in newspapers and magazines for lists of World best players and never do I find anyone from Pakistan.

So, I thought maybe Tennis was the wrong game to play! My father Mohammad Ayub, a Tennis and squash professional in Quetta seemed to agree. So I decided to take up Squash when I reached 15.

I played only 15 days before going into first tournament in Peshawar. It is Tennis I play on Squash court. Always I stand behind Tee line…hit drop shots and lobs..

Torsam Khan beat me like I was five years old. He hit ball and shout, “run Qamar”.. always I run, always it was waste of energy, but people afterwards encourage me. They say I have good drop shots and dodgy wrist.. sometimes they clap which make me feel very good inside.

Back home my father says he will teach me to play properly. Every day I play lone Squash and with Hiddy Jahan and his brother Shah.

Next time I go to Squash competition I is junior championships in Lahore and afterwards I get good press… kind men say I have shots that nobody else in World can play.

I work hard for three years after this then I am selected for Pakistan International team.. it is a great honour.. but what happens? A war with India and team does not travel abroad. I wonder why they could not wait for war until team had gone???

I have to wait for one year to get on a plane.. this time to England for Amateur playing is almost same as today. Always I want to hit winning shots.

But I win sometimes and sometimes I lose .. learn that occasionally it is best to rally the ball.. two shots ..maybe even three on a warm day!

In 1973 I return to England and lose to Mohammed Yasin in semi-final of British Open.. Yasin is my friend.. he know I have bad shins .. and plays like he know!
But in Amateur I get to final.. Mohibullah beat me 10-8 in fifth game but it is first time in final of major competition and I am pleased.. drink extra glass of orange juice.

In 1974 again I lose to Mohibullah in amateur final but it is only time he beat me and I win championship in Egypt, Sweden and Australia.



Beating Geoff

Finally in 1975 twice I beat Geoff Hunt and second time he tells everybody I am number one in World.

First time was at Wembley in quarter-final of Open is biggest thing that ever happen in my life and i lose all my senses and it is a great gift that god let me have.

At that time I am still an amateur because it is very important that Pakistan have good name in Squash and Omar Draz, my coach, he have ambition to win World Cup.

But, I look round and see that Pakistan have some very fine players coming up. Never it matter I turn professional. They win World Cup in any case.

The season is over, I returned home to Pakistan where even the Prime Minister came to welcome me and there was much singing and dancing.

Pretty girl, she place big garland of flowers round my neck but I take it off and put it round my father’s shoulders. That I am Champion of the World .. 95 per cent is due to him.. five per cent only is due to me.. for having good sense to listen to my father when he spoke…