Pakistan finalises badminton squad for Commonwealth Games

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Pakistan Badminton Federation (PBF) has finalised a four-member squad for the Commonwealth Games slated to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.

The squad, which comprises two male and two female shuttlers, was finalised after formal trials in Lahore on Thursday.

The top two players each in both the genders were picked for the quadrennial event. The players who were picked include Pakistan’s top player Murad Ali, Hafiz Irfan Saeed Bhatti, Olympian Mahoor Shehzad and the country’s second seeded shuttler Ghazala Siddique.

The squad was confirmed by the PBF president and former international Chaudhry Wajid Ali when this correspondent contacted him on Friday.

“Yes these players have been finalised,” Wajid said.

Wajid said that the training camp will be held after an event being being held by SNGPL which will end on May 29.

Wajid said that the camp will be held at Islamabad.

“Yes DG PSB had told us that we should hold camp at Lahore but there is no space there so we have requested the Board to hold our camp in Islamabad. Hopefully our camp will be held in the federal capital,” Wajid said.

Asked whether it would be enough to train the lot for just two months for such a competitive event Wajid said that the PSB has not given them any camp for the last three years.

Asked if the Board decides not to back the badminton squad then what he will do as the PBF chief Wajid said the federation then will hold its camp by itself.

Pakistan No2 Palwasha Bashir could not feature in the trials due to injury.

Irfan, Murad and Mahoor were also part of Pakistan squad in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The fourth shuttler in Gold Coast squad was Palwasha.

In Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Pakistan’s quartet had extended pathetic performance.

In the men’s singles round of 64 Murad Ali had lost to Sri Lanka’s Buwaneka¬† Goonethilleka 16-19, 19-21. In the men’s doubles Pakistani pair of Murad and Irfan Saeed went down to Singapore’s pair of Danny Bauca Chrisnanta and Terry Hee 12-21, 17-21 in the first round.

In the women’s singles round of 64 Palwasha was whacked by Nicki Chan Lam of Mauritius 18-21, 12-21. Mahoor, however, did well in the women’s singles. After beating Alissa Deau of Fiji and Christen Marritt of Isle of Man in the first two rounds Mahoor fell to Rachel Honderich of Canada in the round of 16 17-21, 10-21 to face an exit.

In the women’s doubles round of 32 Palwasha and Mahoor lost to Michelle Butler Emmett and Elsie de Villiers of South Africa 6-21, 15-21.

In the mixed doubles round of 64 the pair of Murad and Mahoor lost to Martin Campbell and Julie MacPherson of Scotland 5-21, 6-21. And similarly the pair of Irfan and Palwasha was undone by Georges Paul and Aurelie Allet of Mauritius 2-1 with the set scores being 21-18, 17-21, 19-21.

In the mixed team event Pakistan lost to Scotland 0-5, went down against India 0-5 and were beaten by Sri Lanka 4-1.