Dipika may opt out of squash Nationals

Dipika Pallikal may decide to opt out of the National squash championships as women participants may get a lower prize money in the event. Although equal pay is guaranteed by the National federation, according to the entry criteria it will only be in the condition of the participation of at least 48 women.

Dipika Pallikal had decided to apply for participation in the upcoming Nationals only after the announcement of equal pay.   -  PTI

Dipika Pallikal’s quest for equal prize money at the National squash championships is unlikely to be realised if one were to go by the Squash Rackets Federation of India’s entry criteria. Recently, SRFI announced a purse of Rs 1.25 lakh each for the men’s and women’s winners of the 2016 edition to be held in Mumbai in July, and Dipika, who had skipped the last few Nationals citing a lack of parity in prize money, sent in her entry for the first time since 2011.

But the National federation’s guidelines clearly state that a minimum of 48 entries is required for a category to qualify for the full amount. If not, the prize money will be reduced by 25 per cent.

So far, the men’s event has received a total of 105 entries while the women’s draw has received only 25 with June 20 being the closing date for registration.

The criterion assumes significance because the women’s event over the past four years has not exceeded 41 entries (in 2014). Last year, the women’s event saw 33 entries while in 2012 and 2013 the number was 16 and 26 respectively.

Sources close to Dipika told Sportstar on Wednesday that the World No. 18 might give the tournament a miss if the prize money is unequal. She is likely to wait, however, till the registration deadline to take a call.