Squash: Jahangir appeal uproar

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AN ENGLISH protest over Jahangir Khan playing at No 3 for Pakistan in the World Team Championships resulted in the World Open finalist pulling out of Pakistan's opening match yesterday.

The World Squash Federation upheld England's appeal and the subsequent arguments lasted so long that Pakistan's match with Egypt was delayed by almost an hour, during which time Egypt claimed the match. A start was eventually made, and Pakistan won 2-1, but they may yet forfeit the match.

An extraordinary series of rows went on behind closed doors for more than two hours when the Pakistani camp erupted in fury after learning that Jahangir would not be allowed to play down at No 3 in the order. Jahangir officially retired from the international circuit on Tuesday after losing the World Open final to his compatriot, Jansher Khan.

'I am angry because the WSF couldn't explain that,' Jahangir said after discovering the panel had decreed he be moved up to No 2. 'They say (the change of ranking) is on current form. But in nine months I have played just seven matches, two in Qatar, two weeks ago and now in the World Open. I'm still ranked world No 19 - and they demoted Zarak Jahan, who is number 13.

'If the tournament was being played in any other country but our own both I and the Pakistani team would have walked out.'

As it was, Egypt played on under protest, on condition that the WSF hears its appeal this morning. Pakistan also agreed to play only under protest, though without Jahangir, after Egypt claimed two contradictory teams had been submitted. Should the WSF decide to award the opening rubber to Egypt on the grounds that Pakistan were not ready to play, the result will be reversed, and presumably all hell let loose again.