Cyrus Poncha: 'Having a full-time coach defeats the purpose'

The SRFI has decided, in principle, to have different coaches for different tournaments.

Squash Rackets Federation of India's national coach, Cyrus Poncha.   -  R. Ragu

In the aftermath of the Ashraf El Karargui fiasco, the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI), it appears, has chosen to tread a slightly different path in the appointment of foreign coaches. It has decided, in principle, to have different coaches for different tournaments for a particular period of time instead of a full-time coach.

According to Cyrus Poncha, the SRFI National coach, it has shortlisted Egypt's Amir Waghi, David Palmer, former world champion and a High Performance Coach from England Squash. “We have written to the Sports Ministry and are in touch all the three. We hope to get a favourable response [from the Government],” he said.

Poncha said with two major tournaments--the Asian senior championships in May in Malaysia and the World men’s championship in December in Washington--coming up, SRFI is keen to use the services of the top names provided the Ministry accepts SRFI's proposal. "Having a full-time coach defeats the purpose," emphasised Poncha.

As most of the top Indian players play abroad, SRFI decided it was wise to have an 'horses for courses' approach. “For example, if a tournament is in Washington, the [Indian] players can train there instead of practicing in India. It is not necessary that they all will have to train in Indian Squash Academy [here],” said Poncha. “We are not fixated on anything.”

He also said that SRFI wanted to try out the new idea for the current year and see how it goes. “Overall, if you look at it, it [having different coaches for a particular tournament] is an economical one and will definitely help the [Indian] players,” he said.