Indian squash team for Commonwealth Games 2022: Saurav, Joshna, Dipika to headline nine-member squad

Nine Indians, including 14-year-old Anahat, have made the squash squad for the Commonwealth Games.

India’s CWG squash squad

India’s CWG squash squad | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Nine Indians, including 14-year-old Anahat, have made the squash squad for the Commonwealth Games.

Here are the profiles of all the athletes who will represent India in squash at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.

Saurav Ghosal: Ghosal, who is currently 15th in the men’s world squash rankings, has been a consistent performer on the PSA pro tour for the past few years. Born in Kolkata, Ghosal had briefly broken into the top-10 world rankings in 2019. Earlier this year, he, along with Dipika Pallikal Karthik, had secured gold in mixed doubles at the World Doubles Championship. The highest ranked Indian, who will star in men’s singles and mixed doubles in Birmingham, would be looking to change the colour of the silver medal he won in the 2018 CWG in Mixed Doubles. The gold at CWG is also the only medal missing from his kitty, having won the gold at the Asian Games in Incheon, 2014 and another at the Asian Individual championships in 2019.

Dipika Pallikal Karthik: Earlier this year, Dipika created history in Glasgow by clinching two gold medals - mixed and women’s doubles - at the World Doubles Championship after a three year hiatus from squash, during which she also became a mother. The 30-year-old, who was the first Indian woman to break into the top-10 of the world rankings, would be looking to continue the golden streak next month. Dipika has a stellar record playing doubles, winning gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Silver at the last edition in 2018. However, she hasn’t been slotted in for women’s singles, instead will be playing as a doubles specialist.

Joshna Chinappa: 18-time national champion and world number 17, Joshna will be going into the Birmingham CWG with hopes of recreating the glory of the 2014 edition. There she, along with Dipika, brought home India’s first ever gold medal in the sport in the women’s doubles event. It has been a good year so far for the Chennai-born with a gold medal at the World Doubles Championship and a brief return to top 10 in the world rankings. In Birmingham, Chinappa would appear in all three events - women’s singles and doubles (with Dipika) in addition to mixed doubles alongside Ramit Tandon. 

Ramit Tandon: Tandon reached his highest world ranking of 36 this month. He has been playing on the Pro tour for a while. He’s an Asian Games medallist and has four PSA world tour level titles. Tandon has been a regular feature in the Indian team since his junior days winning six junior National titles. He then went on to have a successful collegiate career playing for Columbia University winning multiple titles. He’s also reached the third round of a platinum world tour event at the Egyptian Open last year.

Harinder Sandhu: His highest world ranking was 47 in 2018. Sandhu had his best year on Tour in 2017, as he claimed victory at five consecutive PSA events across three countries. Before that in 2014, he beat India no. 1 Ghosal to lift the title at the Nationals. Sandhu was a part of the Asian Games squad in 2018 that won the gold in the men’s team event. However, in 2019 he injured his back and had to go into rehab for nearly a year but bounced back, winning the Mumbai leg of the PSA India tour.

Velavan Senthilkumar: Velavan reached his highest world ranking of 101 in 2021. A successful junior, he won multiple National titles along with the Asian Junior title and the British Open title. His first PSA title came in 2018 at the Madison Open in Wisconsin. Since then he’s won the Noida and Chennai leg of the PSA India tour 2021. He is currently a student at Columbia University and plays on their team.

Abhay Singh: Abhay is riding on a high going into the Commonwealth Games after winning two PSA titles this year. He used to be a top junior winning multiple National titles. At the South Asian Games held in Nepal in 2019, Singh won a silver medal in the team event and a bronze medal in the individual event. He is a former India and Asia number 1 in the Boys U19 category.

Sunayana Kuruvilla: Sunayana was a top athlete in her junior days, having won multiple National titles and claiming the top 2 rankings almost every year. At the senior level too, she is ranked number 2 behind Joshna in the country. Sunayana’s first PSA final came at the North Coast Open in 2017. She also reached the final of the Malaysian Squash Tour in 2018. She has made the finals of the PSA Indian tour thrice with the most recent one being last year. Her highest world ranking was 67 in 2020.

Anahat Singh: Anahat, 14, is the youngest member of the team. She has remained No. 1 since making her U-11 debut. She won the Asian junior and US junior open titles and came second in the British juniors. She has over 40 national circuit titles and currently plays in the U-15 category.

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