India withdraws from women's world team squash championship

The Indian women's squash team has withdrawn from the world team championship citing "lack of preparation, time and match-readiness" of its players.

Indian squash

Squash Rackets Federation of India secretary Cyrus Poncha said the top players were consulted before the withdrawal from the women's world team championship.   -  VINO JOHN

India has withdrawn from the women's world team championship scheduled in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 15 to 20, citing "lack of preparation, time and match-readiness" of its players.

Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) secretary Cyrus Poncha said the top players were consulted before the withdrawal.

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“Due to uncertainties regarding guidelines for the safe travel of our athletes and staff for national and international tournaments (yet to be obtained from the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MYAS) & Sports Authority of India (SAI)), coupled with lack of preparation time and match readiness of athletes, and after consulting our top players, the SRFI has decided to withdraw from the championship,” he said in a release.

He added that the SRFI had requested the World Squash Federation (WSF) for an extension, but was not given one.

“I feel many nations might follow us. I have spoken with Malaysian squash, too and they are waiting for their government regulations. It’s touch and go. But we took a decision.”

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The release added that SRFI is waiting for guidelines from MYAS & SAI for international participation with top priority being safety and security of the players & staff for any international event.

- Practice resumes at Indian Squash Academy -

Meanwhile, practice resumed on Monday at the Indian Squash Academy here for the elite athletes with SOPs as laid out by the Tamil Nadu Government and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu.

“Joshna Chinappa, Velanan Senthilkumar, Abhay Singh and a few others trained for nearly one and half hours. Each player practiced all by himself/herself in one court. They all felt excited,” said Poncha to Sportstar.

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