Asian Squash C’ship matches shifted to Indian Squash Academy after damage in court

It was during the match between Joshna Chinappa and Philippines Jemyca Aribado that the issue came to focus. Joshna brought to notice of the organisers the uneven flooring at the back corner of the court during the second game.

An official inspects the floor of the makeshift squash court at Express Avenue Mall in Chennai.   -  V. Ganesan

The court is being relaid at the Express Avenue Mall in Chennai on Thursday.   -  Special Arrangement

The wooden flooring in the back end of the court at the Express Avenue mall was damaged on Thursday evening, forcing the organisers of the 19th Asian Individual Squash Championship to shift the pending matches of the day to the Indian Squash Academy.

It was during the match between Joshna Chinappa and Philippines Jemyca Aribado that the issue came to focus. Joshna brought to notice of the organisers the uneven flooring at the back corner of the court during the second game. “When you step in that area, the loose floorboard goes in. It was very springy and was not very safe for the players. It is not unplayable and looks like a small issue, but it is definitely a risk to continue playing without getting it fixed,” she said.

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The 30-year-old continued playing after a small inspection and registered a comfortable win. Dipika Pallikal Karthik was scheduled to play the next match. After discussing with the players, a general consensus was formed on moving the matches to the Indian Squash Academy. Three matches remained in the day.

“The players are all professionals. They have other tournaments to concentrate as well. What if they get injured?” tournament director Cyrus Poncha said, explaining the reason to move the matches to the Academy that is a short distance away.

“This is a temporary glitch. We are hopeful of the issue getting sorted as soon as possible. We will move heaven and earth to make sure we come back and play here tomorrow. In the worst case scenario, we can also move all the matches to the Indian Squash Academy. The matches will go on as scheduled,” he said.