Squash events in Karachi cancelled

September 04,2018

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KARACHI: Two international squash events worth $50,000 scheduled in Karachi have been cancelled.

The $20,000 DHA Cup Open (Men’s Challenger Tour) and a $5000 women’s Challenger Tour were scheduled from October 15-20 at DA Creek Club here.

The $20,000 DG Rangers Sindh Open (Men’s Challenger Tour) and a $5000 women’s Challenger Tour were scheduled in December.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour Assistant Olly Kell informed players the other day: “Unfortunately the [said] events have had to be cancelled.”

Earlier, the $20,000 Parco Roshan Khan International Squash Open had been postponed because of lack of sponsorship. It was scheduled in Karachi from August 4-8. It is not likely to be held now.

“The DHA Cup will be held as per schedule as the Creek Club authorities told me yesterday that they would organize the event,” Rashid Ahmed, the organiser, told ‘The News’.

But PSA has clearly stated in the email that the events have been cancelled. Rashid also did not tell the reasons behind the cancellation of these events.

A local coach said this was a serious crisis. The reason most likely was unavailability of sponsorship, he said. The coach added that the parallel Sindh Squash Association (SSA) was responsible for this debacle as there were many players who took expensive PSA membership just to play these events.

“But now they have been denied participation at a time when there are already very few international squash events in Pakistan, especially in Karachi,” he added.

The coach said that the parallel SSA was unprofessional. “They converted the high profile Roshan Khan event into a seniors’ event,” said the coach.

The Roshan Khan Open was a popular Asian-level junior event, attracting good international participation but the poor vision of the parallel SSA officials led to the loss of that important event, said the coach.

And then, he added, they converted the DG Rangers event into another event for seniors. “It was also an acclaimed junior event at Asian level with good foreign participation,” said the coach.

Now, he added, both the junior events are satellite events for seniors, but useless because foreign players would not come.

“Many junior players complained to me that they don’t have any junior events to hone their talent,” said the coach, adding that in senior events Pakistani players did not get entry into the qualifying rounds.

“Our international events have merely become a show of foreign players,” said the coach. He said countries like Malaysia did not hanker after high-priced events, but simply focus on low-priced events to give ample chances of participation to their youngsters.

It is pertinent to mention here that the parallel SSA is also organising $50,000 Pakistan Open in Karachi from November 27 to December 2. But it is likely that this event too will be scrapped due to sponsorship crisis.

“We currently have the Pakistan Open noted provisionally however the other events [DHA Cup and DG Rangers Sindh Open] are not likely to be registered at this stage,” Olly Kell told ‘The News’.


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