Qatar Airways Challenge press articles

Martin Bronstien article :Falaknama Palace HyderabadI’m glad to say that the WISPA/Qatar Airlines decision to move the Challenge tournament to India was a great success.  This rapidly expanding airline – it will double in size in the next five year – flew all and sundry via Doha to Hyderabad and everything worked perfectly. There is something very special about Middle Eastern hospitality; it is given wholeheartedly and with no strings attached. Unlike one tournament where the promoter never lost a chance to remind me that he was giving me accommodation and food, as though the cost was coming out of his pocket rather than the budget of a very successful corporation.The preliminary rounds were held at the Secunderabad Club, a wonderful, slightly shabby relic of the British Raj, spread over 22 acres. The three glass-back courts, however,  were impeccable because cement-company owner N. Ramachandran, top dog of both the Asian and Indian SRA’s, insisted that the old court be razed and new ones erected in time for the Qatar Airways Challenge. He donated the cement needed .

From the quarters on, we moved to the Falaknuma Palace, a huge establishment on a  hill overlooking the city.  This mind-boggling extravagance took ten years to build and was completed in  1893 as the home of Sir Vicar-Ul-Umra, the prime minister of Hyderbad state. It was the last word in opulence (we would now call it ‘excess’) the palace being awash with  jade, paintings, statues, silver, stained glass windows, a library that is a copy of the one in Windsor Castle in England and a dining table to seat 101 guests.  Why was I not surprised to hear that  poor old Sir Vicar went bankrupt? Complete article, Hindu article, Squashsite microsite


About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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