PSF Secretary Wing Cdr Irfan Asghar, 42, crushed his Indian opponent Mohainsh Sawant in straight games 3-0, in the final played at the Colombo Gymkahna Squash Complex on July 10.

Pakistan could not clinch any title in squash during the last decade since the legends of the game Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan left the international squash arena while Irfan’s title win has given new hope to the dying sport in the country.

Wing Cdr Irfan told Dawn on Monday: “I have defeated Mohanish for the first time in the finals hosted by the Asian Squash Federation.

Mohanish had better support from the spectators, mostly comprising Indians, who were watching the finals. However, better training and exposure helped me excel in the event.”

Indias 43-member squash contingent, comprising officials and players appeared in the event while only four junior Pakistani teenage players represented Pakistan along with Wing Cdr Irfan.

Nine Asian countries appeared in the four-day championship while Pakistani squash players tested their mettle in the U-15 and U-19 events besides the Master’s championship event.

“I have won the game in straight sets, the score being 11-3, 11-5 and 11-9 during the short 20-minute decider,” said Irfan.

Irfan, who also flew jets as a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter pilot, asserted that PAF’s professional platform and visionary approach helped him win an international squash championship.

“My dream job at the PAF stressing on ‘never giving in’ as our motto has always pushed me towards a win at the squash courts,” he said.

Irfan has lifted six PAF squash championship trophies besides claiming three gold medals in the inter-services squash championship events.

Commenting about the junior players’ performance at the Asian Squash Championship event, he said: “We have won the U-15 title despite the fact that the runner-up was also a Pakistani player. We also grabbed the second position in the U-19 event against the Indians.”