PETALING JAYA: Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) will have Pakistani Ijaz Azmat as their sparring coach for three months to help prepare the national players for the Asian Championships, which will be held in Bukit Jalil from June 18-26.
The move to employ Ijaz is to reduce the workload on local coaches following the decision of another Pakistani, Jamshed Gul, to quit his job as national chief coach early this month.
The SRAM secretary, Wong Ah Jit, said that Jamshed's exit did not affect their overseas-based elite players Ong Beng Hee, Mohd Azlan Iskandar, Nicol David and Sharon Wee.
But the players in KL need more high quality sparring and we felt that Ijaz is the best candidate, he said.
He has worked with us before and he is familiar with the local conditions. His most recent attachment was in the middle of last year and the players felt very comfortable with him.
Beng Hee and Mohd Azlan are based in London while Nicol and Sharon are training in Amsterdam.
Ijaz is expected to spar with Timothy Arnold, Mohd Nafzahizam Mohd Adnan, Lim Yoke Wah, Sally Looi and Delia Arnold.
Meanwhile, former Singapore coach Faheem Gul is on top of the SRAM's list of candidates to replace Jamshed as national coach.
We have limited options ... we can't afford to employ someone from Europe. We heard that Faheem has resigned as the Singapore coach. We will contact him to find out whether he is interested in the job here, said Ah Jit.
Beng Hee has yet again made an early exit in an international tournament at the Bermuda Open in Hamilton last week. The unseeded Malaysian number one was beaten 6-15, 15-14. 13-15, 11-15 by Amr Shabana of Egypt in the first round.