Ajaz renews SRAM ties
FORMER national men’s back-up squad coach Ajaz Azmat returns to the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) next month to fill a vacancy in the national coaching set up.
Ajaz served SRAM for six years before leaving at the end of 2010 when his contract expired, having helped develop the likes of Nafiizwan Adnan and Ivan Yuen, the country’s top two players presently.
His return plugs a hole i n SRAM’s coaching line up following Raymond Arnold’s departure at the end of last year though Ajaz’s exact duties are yet to be defined.
“Ajaz will start work in April and he will likely handle some of the elite players though we still have to discuss what he has to do,” said SRAM director of coaching Mej (rtd) S. Maniam, adding that Ajaz’s appointment has been approved by the National Sports Council.
Ajaz, who is expected to be handed a one-year contract with an option to extend for another year, joins national chief coach Peter Genever, Ong Beng Hee, Andrew Cross and Mika Monto in the coaching stable.
Meanwhile, national No 1 Nafiizwan advanced to the semi-finals of a PSA Tour event for the first time since May last year after defeating India’s Vikram Malhotra in the Wimbledon Club Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Second seed Nafiizwan’s 12-10, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 win over the Indian qualifier puts him into a last-four meeting with third seed Tom Richards of England.
Nafiizwan, who opened his campaign with an 11-6, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9 win over Egypt’s Youssef Soliman, has not reached a semifinal since winning the HKFC International title.
Eight-seeded Ivan, however, was ousted in the first round after an 11-6, 12-10, 10-12, 10-12, 11-7 defeat to Indian qualifier Mahesh Mangaonkar.
World junior champion Ng Eain Yow did not make it past the first qualifying round after being beaten by England’s Jaymie Haycocks 11-8, 11-7, 11-8.