Saturday February 9, 2013
Wee Wern and Nicol wary about playing in Islamabad
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Nicol David and world No. 6 Low Wee Wern will be the top two seeded players in the Asian individual squash championships in Islamabad, Pakistan, from May 1-5.
But defending champion Nicol and Wee Wern are not keen on competing in the meet following media reports of security threats in Islamabad.
The Penang-born Wee Wern said that “Nicol and I are concerned about our safety in Pakistan”.
“We might skip it if it isn’t safe ... we don’t want to take any risks,” said Wee Wern.
Nicol has won the Asian title a record eight times since 1998, with the last one coming in Penang two years ago.
Malaysia also won the men’s title in Penang when Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan upset compatriot and four-time Asian champion Ong Beng Hee in the final.
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) general manager Christopher Brodie said that they too were concerned about the safety of the national players in Pakistan.
“Although the Professional Squash Association (PSA) have sanctioned the tournament in Pakistan, they don’t encourage players to play there because of the unsafe situation,” said Christopher.
“So far none of the countries have protested against playing in Pakistan, but we hope that the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) will move the meet to another country.”
Christopher, however, has left it to the national players to decide whether they want to play or not in Pakistan.
“If any of the national players are keen to play in the meet, then we’ll send them to Pakistan,” said Christopher.
National No. 2 Nafiizwan has said that he doesn’t mind travelling to Pakistan to defend his title.
“If the Malaysian government want me to go to Pakistan, then I’ll definitely go,” said Nafiizwan, who is ranked 33rd in the world.