Pakistan absent from World Open for first time

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KARACHI, Nov 25 (Reuters) Pakistan, who once dominated squash, will for the first time have no player at the World Open championships which start in Bermuda today.

Shams-ul-Haq, the secretary of the Pakistan squash federation told Reuters yesterday that no Pakistani player had entered to play in the World Open due to ranking point problems.

''We are sending a team for the world team championships in Chennai next month but due to ranking points problems we have no representation in the individual event,'' Haq said.

It will be the first time since the World Open began in 1976 that no Pakistani will played in either the qualifying rounds or the competition proper -- an event once dominated by greats Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan.

Jahangir won the World Open six times while Jansher clinched it on a record eight occasions, the last time in 1996, also the last time it was won by a Pakistan player.

Since the retirement of the two Khans, Pakistan's standing in world rankings has steadily declined.

Reuters TB VP0447

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