Two-time world champion Palmer agrees to coach Indian squash teams

If the Sports Ministry makes David Palmer's appointment official, he will hold a camp in Chenai before traveling to Malaysia for the Asian Team Championships.

David Palmer (L) and Zac Alexander celebrate winning the men's doubles gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.   -  Getty Images

Two-time world squash champion and former World No.1 David Palmer has agreed to be the coach of the Indian squash team for the Asian (men & women) Team Championships to be held at Kuala Lumpur from March 25 to 29.

If the Sports Ministry accepts the proposal of Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI), the 43-year-old will be in the city to hold a camp from March 15 and then travel with the squad to the capital city of Malaysia.

“We [SRFI] have a written to the Ministry around 10 days back and are seeking its approval to have Palmer as the coach. SRFI had spoken to Palmer recently and got his confirmation. We are also looking at Palmer on a long-term basis most probably till the 2022 Asian and Commonwealth Games,” SRFI Secretary Cyrus Poncha told Sportstar on Tuesday.

If the Ministry says gives its consent, this will be the first time that Palmer will coach an Indian team (junior or senior). He is currently a coach at Cornell University in New York where Veer Chotrani, the reigning Asian u-19 boys’ singles champion, is a student.

In fact, some of the Indian senior players including Saurav Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa, Vikram Malhotra and Ramit Tandon have trained with Palmer in the past. Even Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy, former World No.1 and current No.2, has trained under the Australian.

“His [Palmer’s] experience as a top-class player will be invaluable. Moreover, he has won three gold medals in Commonwealth Games: gold in men’s doubles (2014 and 2018) and gold in mixed doubles (2014). That will help us do well in doubles as well. We are looking forward to having him as a coach,” said Poncha.

The SRFI Secretary said the Indian team (men & women) for the Asian Team Championships will be picked based on the Senior National Championships (to be held in Chennai from February 9 to 15) and the world (PSA) rankings as on February 2020.

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