Mumbai: Ace squash player Karim Darwish has withdrawn from this week`s Punj Lloyd PSA Masters in the city following a back injury.
The 28-year old Egyptian was top seeded to win the USD 152,500 championship - the first Professional Squash Association Super Series event to be staged in India in 12 years.
Darwish, who had regained his world number one ranking just two days ago has topped the PSA world squash rankings for all but one month of this year.
He will be succeeded as top seed by Gregory Gaultier, the Frenchman who became world number one for the first time in November. Egypt`s Amr Shabana, the reigning World Open champion and the last winner of the PSA Masters title in 2006 in Bermuda, is elevated to No 2 seed.
Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet, the world No 58 from Le Mans, is the lucky recipient of the vacant slot in the 32-man PSA Masters draw – and faces Shabana in the opening round.
The Punj Lloyd PSA Masters will be held at the Bombay Gymkhana from 5-10 December. It will be the eighth staging of the PSA Masters, the only PSA Tour event which is open exclusively to the top 32 players in the world.