Hindu article on Ravi Dixit

Close on the heels of the Doha Asiad, a strong 18-member team represented India in the U 13, U15 and U17 Boys and Girls category at the Scottish and British Junior Squash Open which concluded recently.

Fourteen-year-old Ravi Dixit, participating in his first European event in the Boys U 15 category claimed his maiden European title – Scottish Junior Open in Edinburgh at the Heriot-Watt University Squash Centre. Currently undergoing training at ICL Squash Academy, Chennai, under Major Maniam and Cyrus Poncha, he said it was a tough battle. “It was tough. I trained really hard and my coaches were an enormous source of encouragement. I guess that’s why I won,” Read more of this post


SRFI coaching schedule

JAN 15-31 Asian Juniors Camp, Chennai
MAR 2-3 Refrees Clinic, Mumbai
19-24 ASF Level 2 Coaching Course, Chennai
APR2-6 ASF Level 1 Coaching Course, Mumbai
24-28 ASF Level 1 Coaching Course, Delhi
MAY 20-27 Coaching Clinic, Mumbai
JUN TBC Coaching & Refrees Clinic, Bangalore
JUL 16-17 Refrees Clinic, Chennai
AUG 1-11 ASF Level 1 Coaching Course, Kolkata
TBC Coaching Clinic, Hyderabad
SEP TBC Coaching Clinic, Jaipur
OCT TBC Refrees Clinic, Delhi
TBC Coaching Clinic, Delhi
DEC 4-5 Refrees Clinic, Chennai
TBC Asian Coaching Conference

Deccan Chronicle: Saurav comes of age

Cyrus Poncha and Saurav GhosalThe satisfaction of having landed a bronze medal at the Asian Games was palpable on Saurav Ghosal’s face. He has done India proud by winning the country’s lone squash medal at Doha. Saurav Ghosal was a picture of confidence when he received the Rs 2.5-lakh reward that was given by the ICL squash academy for his Asian Games achievement. Even for someone who is used to encomiums showered on him at this venue, Thursday’s celebration was different. The reason was obvious: Saurav has done something no Indian has achieved before.
Though he is elated with his show at Doha, Saurav says he could have even won the gold medal. “I am happy that I have returned home with the bronze medal. Ong Beng Hee is one of the best players in Asia and I am satisfied that I gave my best against him in the semifinal. To comeback well after dropping the first two games was a hugely satisfying experience. He was the better player on that day and his victory in the final put it beyond doubt where he stands in Asia”, he adds.

The journey from a diminutive spikehaired schoolboy to an Asian Games medallist has been eventful for Saurav. He acknowledged the role played by SRFI secretary N. Ramachandran and his coaches Cyrus Poncha and Major Maniam Saurav in shaping his career. The soft spoken Saurav conceded that he tried a little too hard in the quarterfinal against his good friend Ritwik Bhattacharya. “When the score was six-all in the third game I knew I was close and tried a few things and lost. During the break I told myself to enjoy the game and not put pressure on myself and the strategy paid off,” points out Saurav.

National coach Cyrus Poncha is thrilled by his charge’s feat. “Saurav has made rapid strides in the last few years and it is beginning to show. He is a true professional who does not complain and he is always ready for the hard yards.” Saurav had spent two gruelling weeks in England under the watchful eyes of Cyrus, a Dronacharya awardee, before the Doha Games. According to Cyrus, there is no noticeable weakness in Saurav’s game. The national champion, the coach says, will improve with more exposure against top players. Saurav’s speed on the court has drawn effusive praise from all quarters. His shot selection has also improved considerably and technically the youngster seems to have plugged all holes. Read more of this post

Saurav Ghosal Economic Times interview

ET:How did you feel on winning the bronze at Doha?
Saurav:To win a medal in any of the multinational, multievent games is an achievement. But more than that, I am happy to be the first Indian to win a Squash medal in the Asian Games.

How confident were you on winning a medal before the Games?
Well, I always wanted to win the Gold. I still believe that I have in me the capability to win the Gold.

Then, what went wrong?
Nothing really. The quarterfinal against my teammate Ritwik Bhatacharya was a close encounter. After that, I was sure of my medal. But against Malaysian Ong Beng Hee, the eventual winner, the better player won. Though I played well, he was stronger on that day. So, looking back, I guess nothing really wrong. I am ready to take all the positives from the games’ experience.

And what are the positives
Well, at the end of this year, I have moved up to the rank of 49 in the PSA (Professional Squash Association). This means that I gain direct entry to some of the major events. Breaking into the top 50 is one of the positives that has emerged. With the cash incentives given to me (The Tamil Nadu Government has given him Rs10 Lakhs and the ICL Squash Academy celebrated his achievement by rewarding him with Rs 2.5 lakhs) I can train better

Sportstar: Saurav getting better

The National champion and former World junior No. 1, Saurav Ghosal, won the first Asian Games medal, a bronze, for India in squash. The 20-year-old student of Leeds University, trained by coach Malcolm Willstrop, bounced back from a demoralising start in the semi-finals to tease the Malaysian, Ong Beng Hee, before bowing out in four games. Read more of this post

Saurav Ghosal felicitated by SRFI

Sourav Ghosal, the first Indian to win a bronze medal for squash in the recently held Asian Games at Doha, aims to better his performance by picking a gold in the next Asiad and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Speaking after his felicitation by the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) here Thursday, Ghosal said: ‘My next goal is to win a gold for my country in the next Asiad and the coming Commonwealth Games. I hope to work hard in the next two years and improve my ranking, so as to be among the top 30 players in the world.’

The player is currently ranked 49th in the world rankings. Member secretary, Sports Development Authority of the Tamil Nadu government, Apoorva handed a cheque for Rs.250,000 lakh to Ghosal on behalf of the federation. Ghosal was Tuesday honoured by the state government with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi presenting him a cheque for Rs. 1 million (Rs. 1,000,000).

‘I am enjoying my stay in England and my university is very supportive,’ Ghosal said, adding that more and more Indian youngsters needed to take up squash. ‘We will then get many more champs and win many more squash medals,’ he said.

Said Squash Rackets Federation of India consultant Major (Retd) S. Maniam, who coached Ghosal: ‘Saurav has had a remarkable career this far with a string of international titles and numerous awards. Having worked closely with him before, I certainly believe he has it in him to be a top 10 squash player in the near future.’

National squash coach Cyrus Poncha said: ‘When Saurav and his family moved to live here, they exhibited their commitment to squash and placed their faith in us at the ICL Squash Academy. Today we reap its reward.’

Doha Diary 3

Maj Maniam, Cyrus, Saurav, Mr. N. Ramachandran, S. SrivatsanI  am thrilled that India has won a medal for squash at the Asian Games. Four years ago Ritwik was very close to winning a medal when he had stretched Azlan to 5 games. It is unfortunate this time round my boys had to play each other. Ritwik was unlucky not to go thru,  Saurav took his chances well and reaped the reward. Credit for Saurav’s win must go to his parents, the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) who has supported him over the past few years, the management and coaches of the India Cements Squash Academy who have always stood behind him and Malcolm Willstrop who has worked very closely with Saurav for the past 18 months. Read more of this post

Bombay Gymkhana Maharashtra State Open Squash Finals

Gaurav Nandrajog and Mandy Kennedy win HSBC Maharashtra SquashICL Academy’s Gaurav Nandrajog came from behind to beat compatriate Harinderpal Singh 3-2 and win the men event at the HSBC 31st Maharashtra State Open Squash Championships  held at the Bombay Gymkhana, Mumbai. Gaurav beat Harinder 2-9 7-9 10-8 9-0 9-2 in a match lasting over an hour.  Women: Mandy Kennedy (England) bt Shivangi Paranjpe (Mah) 7-9, 9-4, 9-6, 9-4. Boys U-19: Sandeep Jangra (Mah) bt Vikram Malhotra (Mah) 9-1, 9-7, 7-9, 9-4. Boys U-17: Vikram Malhotra (Mah) bt Cyril Kuhn 9-0, 9-2, 9-2. Boys U-15: Aadit Zaveri (Mah) bt Abhishek Pradhan (Mah) 9-0, 9-3, 9-0. Boys U-13: Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt Shashi Pandey (Jindal) 9-3, 9-1, 9-2. Boys U-11: Raghav Mehrotra (Mah) bt Yohan Pandole (Mah) 9-3, 9-7, 9-5. Girls U-19: Shivangi Paranjpe (Mah) bt Madhura Paranjpe (Mah) 9-1, 9-1, 9-1. Girls U-17: Shaheda Madraswala (Mah) bt Namrata Purohit (Mah) 9-1, 9-7, 9-5. Girls U-15: Ankita Sharma (Mah) bt Soumya Karki (Mah) 6-9, 5-9, 9-6, 9-4, 9-1. Girls U-13: Soumya Karki (Jindal) bt Sachika Balvani (Mah) 9-5, 2-9, 9-6, 10-9. U-9: Rajat Agarwal (Mah) bt Sandeep Paswan (Jindal) 9-6, 9-2, 9-3. Over-35: Manish Chotrani (Mah) bt Jehangir Surti (Mah) 9-0, 9-0, 9-0. Over-45: Chandrakant Pawar (Mah) bt Anant More (Mah ) 9-4, 9-5, 4-9, 10-8. Over-55: Kishanlal Passi (Mah) bt Haresh Melwani (Mah)9-6, 9-1, 9-4. Professionals: Dalip Tripathi bt Mahesh Verma (Mah) 9-1, 9-2, 9-1

Tamil Nadu win all 4 Interstate Titles

Tamil Nadu make a clean sweep of the team events at the recently concluded nationals held at Kolkata:

{1} Ramit Tandon {Tamil Nadu} beat {1} Abhishek Pradhan {Maharashtra}9-6 9-1 9-2
{2} Ravi Dixit {Tamil Nadu} beat {2} Aadit Zaveri {Maharashtra}9-4 9-6 9-7

{1} Harinder Pal Singh {Tamil Nadu} beat {1} Sandeep Jangra {Maharashtra} 9-3 9-1 9-7
{2} Parth Sharma {Tamil Nadu} beat {2} Vikram Malhotra {Maharashtra}9-1 9-1 10-8

{1} Harita Omprakash {Tamil Nadu} beat {1} Saumya Karki {Maharashtra}10-9 9-3 9-2
{3} B. Aparajitha {Tamil Nadu} lost to {3} Ankita Sharma {Maharashtra} 10-8 5-9 4-9 0-9
{2} A Anaka {Tamil Nadu} beat {2} Sachika Balvani {Maharashtra} 9-3 9-6 9-2

Girls 19 Tamil Nadu beat Maharashtra 2-0 previous day

Vacancy for an Assistant coach

The Squash Rackets Federation of India is looking for an assistant coach to the National Coach. The coach should have at least a level 2 coaching accreditation. Your job will be to work with the elite players at the ICL Squash Academy, Chennai. Interested coaches to mail CV to SRFI at the following email address: finance@md2.vsnl.net.in