Chennai: Led by six-time national champion
Saurav Ghosal, the Indian racqueters will face a tough time
squashing challenge from formidable foreign opponents when
JSW SDAT Squash World Cup begins here on Tuesday.
Besides 24th ranked Ghosal, highest position attained by
an Indian racqueter in the Professional Squash Association
(PSA) ratings, the Indian men`s team will be represented by
Siddharth Suchde (66) and Harinder Pal Sandhu (116) in the
first world squash championship of the year to be staged from
March 8 to 12.
The women`s section will see India`s ace squash players
Dipika Pallikal, ranked 23rd on the WISPA ratings, and
Joshna Chinappa (35) in action for the mixed team biennial
event, which is being held after a gap of 11 years.
The matches will be held in a league-cum-knockout format.
A total of nine teams have been drafted in two groups, who
will vie for the top honours during the five-day long event
with top two teams from each group moving ahead to battle it
out for the summit clash.
India, seeded sixth in the tournament, have been placed
in group B along with top seeds England (2) and Australia (3),
besides Mexico (7), while number one seed Egypt, France (4),
Malaysia (5), South Africa (8) and Sri Lanka (9) have been
drafted in group A.
The first rounds of the Cup will be held at the Indian
Squash Academy while the final rounds of the pool matches and
the knockouts will be held at the lobby of the Express Avenue
mall, where a temporary glass court will be set up.
World`s leading squash players will star in the third
edition of the World Cup, which offers a prize purse of USD
50,000 for the winners and USD 25,000 for the runners-up.
Two editions of the World Cup were held in 1996
(Malaysia) and Netherlands (1999) but thereafter the event was
discontinued. The revival of this competition had come at a
time when World Squash Federation is increasingly working
towards giving a boost to the sport in its bid to find a place
in the Olympics.
The road to success is going to be tough for Indian
players with England and Egypt being the front runners in the
men`s section and Malaysia and England being the favourite on
the women`s category.