KARACHI: The 13th CNS International Squash Championship is starting at PN Roshan Khan-Jahangir Khan Squash Complex here from Thursday (today). The men and women competitions ran concurrently in the preceding two events – DHA Cup and the Pakistan Open – but the $18000 CNS spectacle is restricted to men only. The five-day event, which culminates on Dec 10, will see 12 foreigners from eight nations and as many Pakistanis vying for honours. The foreign players who will participate belong to Egypt, Hong Kong, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal and Qatar. Zahed Mohamed routed Omar Abdel Meguid 12-10, 11-9, 6-3 (retired) in absorbing all-Egyptian final that lasted for 63-minutes to win the title in the last edition held at Islamabad in 2016. A spokesman for the Sindh Squash Association (SSA) spelt out the details on Wednesday. Recalling Pakistan Navy’s contribution to the game he said it dates back to the creation of the country with one court at Manora. He added that the naval interest to uplift the game grew with the passage of time and the venue that was established in 1991 was one such example in this regard. Tracing the background of CNS Squash he said it was launched in 2000 with a purse of $6000 and today it had increased twofold.Mexican Arturo Salazar, who lost to Peru’s Diego Elias in the semi-final of the Pakistan Open, has been top seeded in the draw. Salazar is followed by Pakistan’s Asim Khan, Farhan Mehboob and Kuwait’s Ammar Altamimi respectively. Top eight seeds who have got a first round bye: 1-Arturo Salazar (Mexico), 2-Asim Khan (Pakistan), 3-Farhan Mehboob (Pakistan), 4-Ammar Altamimi (Kuwait), 5-Rui Soares (Portugal), 6-Ahsan Ayaz (Pakistan), 7-Shahjehan Khan (Pakistan), 8-Israr Ahmed (Pakistan).Published in Daily Times, December 6th 2018.