“Arjuna pleasant surprise” Saurav
Aug 12, 2007 1 Comment
The first squash player to be bestowed the Arjuna award in a decade, reigning national champion Saurav Ghosal says the honour has come as a pleasant surprise for him. The country’s numero uno squash player is now hoping that the award would give a fillip to the sport besides inspiring him to scale greater heights.
“Frankly I was not even thinking about this because not many squash players have been given the award in the past. I knew I had been nominated by the federation but I was not expecting to win it,” Ghosal said.
“It has come as a welcome surprise for me and I’m obviously thrilled to have been given the honour. Hopefully it would inspire me for greater things,” he added. The last time a squash player was awarded the Arjuna was Misha Grewal who was the national champion from 1993 to 1996 before giving up the sport for pursuing a career as a TV presenter. Ghosal winning the Arjuna is not just a personal achievement but also a reflection of the growing recognition that squash players are no getting.
“I think the whole squash fraternity would celebrate this award because it means that our achievements are getting due recognition,” he said. The 20-year-old, who became the first Indian ever to win the British Junior Open in 2004, said he could visualise a bright future for squash in the country. “Squash players getting national honours is a very positive sign for the future. We have some very good players coming up and their morale would be boosted by such developments,” he explained.
The Kolkata-lad has a busy schedule lined up for the coming months. “I’m going to Pakistan for a tournament which starts on 18 August. Then there are a couple of events in the UK, besides a tournament in the USA. So its quite hectic for me,” he said. National coach and former Dronacharya award winner Cyrus Poncha, who has groomed Ghosal, also congratulated is prodigy. “At his age, it’s a great achievement and I’m very happy for him,” he said.