Ghosal to spearhead Indian challenge in Squash World Cup
Chennai: Six-time national champion Saurav Ghosal will lead a five-member Indian team in the upcoming squash World Cup to be held here from March 8.
Besides 24th ranked Ghosal, highest position attained by an Indian racqueter in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) ratings, the Indian team will be represented by Siddharth Suchde and Harinder Pal Sandhu in the men`s category.
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.
A total of nine teams drafted in two groups 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, according to World Squash Federation President N Ramachandran.
World`s leading squash players, headed by Malaysia`s world number one Nicol David and Egypt`s world No 2 Ramy Ashour, 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.
The tournament will however miss the antics of Pakistani players, who could not make it to the event following a lack of strong challenge in the women`s section.
The preliminary matches will be played at the Indian Squash Academy while the final rounds will be featured at the ASB all-glass show court at the Express Avenue Mall here, the largest shopping complex in Southern India.
"This is the first time a WSF event is being held in a shopping mall," Ramachandran said.
Ramachandran also thanked Tamil Nadu Government, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and the sponsors for their support.
"All these are indeed a testimony of the faith WSF has in the organisational capabilities of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) and the Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association," he said.
SRFI secretary general, Srivatsan Subramaniam said the field for the event was the "best ever" in the championship. The last edition of the event was held in the Netherlands in 1999.
On the prospects of the Indian team, SRFI`s consulting coach Major S Maniam said, "They had an outside chance of making it to the knock-out stage."