May 11, 2007 Leave a comment
The Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports revised its categorization of sports disciplines in the country and has made squash one of the priority sports in the country. This comes in a wake of India achieving its first medal in the 2006, Asian Games held in Doha and Indian players like Saurav Ghosal and Ritwik Bhattacharya reigning the top 50 list of best players in the world.
Says N.Ramachandran, Secretary General, Squash Rackets Federation of India, “Its truly fabulous that Indian Squash is getting its much deserved recognition. This means a better funding from the government and increased opportunities for the federation to improve the infrastructural facilities of the state associations. The federation is keen to harness the talent of these junior players by giving them exposure to all international tournaments”
Cyrus Poncha National Coach, SRFI “This means motivation for all the aspirant squash players and a better scope of sincere participation to bring the sport to the forefront of Indian sports”.
Other than the men, the sport has also witnessed a steep rise in the participation figures in the women’s category. Apart from Joshna Chinnappa there are junior players like Dipika Pallikal, Anwesha Reddy, Aparajitha Balamurukan, Saumya Karki, Anaka Alankamony, Harita Omprakash etc. Anaka and Saumya were the semi finalists at the British Open held last year.
Coach of the Gold Medal Women’s Team at the SAF Games, 2004 and Gold Medal Asian Junior Women’s Team in Pakistan 2003, Cyrus explains the situation “There used to be days when matches were cancelled for no participation of women. But the situation is definitely improving now with new possibilities in the current women’s junior team.” The boys who are turning out to be safer bets include Harinderpal Singh, A. Parthiban, Naresh Kumar and Parth Sharma climbing higher in the recent world rankings.