Commonwealth Games 2018: Squash dreams rest on tested warhorses | other sports

Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal have been Indian squash’s ambassadors-cum-champions for more than a decade.

It’s heartening, little question, to see the names of Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal doing the rounds once more as one other version of the Commonwealth Video games approaches.

Nonetheless, the longevity of the champion trio brings to the fore a evident query in regards to the progress of the game in India.

Joshna, Dipika and Ghosal, have been Indian squash’s ambassadors-cum-champions for greater than a decade now. Whereas the game has discovered the following era of world leaders, transferring on from the likes of Ramy Ashour to the El Shorbagy brothers amongst males, and from Nicol David to Nour el Sherbini within the ladies’s phase, the reign of the Indian champions is but to be challenged within the nation.

This, even after Joshna, Dipika and Ghosal, whose recreation grew by leaps and bounds within the build-up to the 2010 CWG in New Delhi when squash, like many different sports activities, acquired further funding from the federal government to plan publicity and coaching for the gamers, have hit a plateau.

Their rankings are caught outdoors the top-10 (of their defence, they’ve managed to be inside top-30), whereas they battle to make any significant influence in massive occasions on the world tour.

That makes us surprise how and why the remainder of the Indians — younger or outdated — haven’t managed to catch up.

That’s a query the Squash Racquet Federation of India (SRFI) and its teaching staff ought to reply earnestly, put up introspection, to make sure their sport stays related within the coming years.

Within the meantime, an enormous season is not far away for squash because it options in each the CWG and the Asian Video games in Indonesia later this 12 months.

CWG first, and Joshna and Dipika, who received gold in ladies’s doubles in 2014 Glasgow, are India’s greatest guess for a medal once more, although a title repeat appears to be like unlikely.

On paper, the Joshna-Dipika pairing has a good likelihood to do effectively, however with top-ranked gamers teaming up for Australia, England and New Zealand, issues received’t be that straightforward for the defending champions.

The staff administration, in the meantime, can be hopeful of the blended doubles combos that includes Dipika-Ghosal and Joshna-Harinder Pal Sandhu, who may also staff up with Ghosal in males’s doubles.

With their kind within the final six months not precisely particular, Indians should not hopeful of any inroads in singles the place the boys’s and ladies’s attracts are headed by former World No 1 English gamers — Nick Matthew and Laura Massaro.

Ghosal, world No 14, is seeded third within the males’s draw which has world No 49 Sandhu because the 14th seed and Vikram Malhotra, who’s 58th within the PSA checklist, is ranked 16th within the CWG draw. World No 16 Joshna is the highest Indian within the ladies’s draw, seeded eighth, whereas Dipika, world No 20, is ninth.

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