CWG sans stars means India team without Sachin: Ghosal
New Delhi: Upcoming Commonwealth Games will be like 'Indian cricket team without Sachin Tendulkar' if star athletes continue to withdraw from the sporting extravaganza, ace squash player Saurav Ghosal said.
Jamaica's Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser, Scotland's top cyclist Chris Hoy, who is a multiple Olympic gold medallist, and top tennis players like Samantha Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt have already pulled out of the October Games.
Ghosal said he was extremely disappointed with the star pull outs.
"I am a huge fan of Usain Bolt. He is just superb. I am very much disappointed that he is not coming to India. He is absolutely unbelievable and people of Delhi will miss him. Same is with Hoy and recently I came to know that another England swimmer is not coming.”
"With pull outs, the event will be like Indian cricket team without Sachin Tendulkar. Bolt is the greatest sprinter of all time and watching him for 10 seconds is absolutely thrilling. People of India must be saddened that he is not coming," Ghosal said.
The world number 26 Ghosal, who was in the capital to announce Punj Llyod Squash Masters 2010, the biggest prize money championship to be held in the country ever, said that delay in the completion of the venues will rob the medal prospect like him of the vital home advantage.
"To be fair, yes, we will miss the home advantage. It would be much better if the Squash courts at the Siri Fort Sports Complex were ready by March this year.”
"In an ideal world, I would have loved to play on it couple of times earlier but that did not happen. I have came to know from our federation that we will be playing on it only in September that too from 23rd which is not a long time before the CWG starts.”
"It's not ideal and could have been better. Getting hang of your venue when event is taking place at home always brighten your chances to win medals," he said.
Ghosal would be playing in a couple of international tournaments before heading back to India for the Games in September.
On India's medal prospects in the Games, the 24-year-old Kolkata born said, "In the singles event, I need to pull out couple of upsets in order to advance to the later stages."
"May be I would be playing world number 12 or world number one in the pre-quarters. I think draw will make a lot of difference. In mixed-doubles and doubles categories, Indians can give a good shot. I would be playing with Dipika in the mixed and we have done pretty well in recent past.”
"Harinder Pal Sandhu will line-up with Joshna Chinappa in another mixed doubles pairing. They have also done great. So we have bright chances in that category," he said.