ISP Squash

Dewan Housing Squash Challenge Mens/Womens/Professionals

  At Otters Club, Mumbai: 24.3.1997

Chandrakant Pawar (Winner in professional’s category), Michael Ferreira (Chief guest), Rahmat Khan (Coach to legendary Jahangir Khan), Mahendra Agarwal (Founder Director, ISP), Parineeta Choudhari (Winner in women’s category), Akhil Behl (Winner in men’s) at the prize distribution ceremony held at Haveli Restaurant, Juhu, Mumbai

Click here for more photographs


All Results

Mens: Akhil Behl beat Niraj Shirgaokar
15-4, 15-10, 15-10
Womens: Parineeta Choudhari beat Karishma Juneja 13-15, 15-5, 15-5, 16-17, 15-12
Professionals: Chandrakant Pawar beat Santosh More a 8-15, 12-15, 15-10, 15-7, 15-11

Semi Finals:
Akhil Behl beat Gaurav Juneja 15-7, 15-7, 15-6
Niraj Shirgaokar beat Paul Ferreira 15-4, 8-15, 15-11, 15-13


Parineeta Choudhari beat Rhea Bhandare 15-11, 15-7, 15-7
Karishma Juneja W/O Jigisha Mehta
Santosh More beat Anant More 15-12, 15-7, 15-13
Chandrakant Pawar beat Rajesh Sonawane 15-10, 15-9, 15-10

Quarter Finals:

Gaurav Juneja beat Cyrus Poncha 17-16, 17-15, 10-15, 6-15, 15-13
Paul Ferreira beat Rohan Juneja 15-1, 15-10, 12-15, 15-8
Akhil Behl beat Jatin Mehta 15-10, 15-9, 15-4
Rhea Bhandare beat Deepali Anvekar 15-13, 15-9, 15-10
Karishma Juneja beat Deepa Ahuja 15-5, 15-8, 15-7
Parineeta Choudhari beat Lucy .D.  15-5, 15-4, 15-5

Anant More beat Riaz Mohammed 6-15, 14-15, 15-9, 15-8, 15-6
Rajesh Sonawane beat Sunil Verma 15-14, 17-15, 16-17, 15-10
Santosh More beat Gopi Mohite 15-6, 11-15, 15-5, 15-2
C.S.Pawar beat Prakash Yelve


Press Articles of tournament : 

Paul Ferreira rallies, batters Abhijit to clinch victory
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai :21/3/1997) 

Paul Ferreira brawled his way to victory against Abhijit Kukreja in the second round of the Dewan Housing Squash Challenge being played at the Otter’s  Club Bandra, on Tuesday. 

Ferreira who has been losing out in recent tournament survived against the unseeded Abhijit whose game forced Paul to come out with his best. Paul played well at the beginning of the match winning the first two games quite comfortably 15-7, 15-9. 

However, subsequently Abhijit meleed his way back into the game winning the third game 15-13. Paul did his best to rally but his opponent seeded to have struck back with a vengeance, winning the fourth game 15-12 to keep the glimmering light of hope alive. In the end, however it was Paul’s previous experience that took him to victory. He advanced into the quarter finals with a score line that read 15-7, 15-9, 13-15, 12-15 and 15-9. 

In another encounter Gaurav Juneja emerged triumphant beating Gaurav Mittal 15-9, 15-12, 15-4. Mittal did show some resistance during the first two games.

In the first game he performed fairly well and competently even. In the second game Mittal worked hard, he missed no opportunity in scoring over Juneja’s fatuous shots. But towards the end it seemed that Mittal had given up and had lost hope. He lost the game 15-12. Sweltered Juneja then sailed to a comfortable victory in the third game to progress into the next round beating Mittal 15-4.  

In the professional category Rajesh right from the first game, His hard work, however, was futile as Rajesh showed a better temperament and game than Kishore. There was a neck to neck fight in the second game, some unwanted attempts from Rajesh were taken good advantage to by Kishore who prevailed victorious clinching at 17-16 win. 

Thereafter Kishore was never given a chance to fight back and lost the next two games 11-15, 9-15 to be eliminated from the contest. 

Chandrakant Pawar triumphed over Santosh Tambe in an one-sided match. Santosh tried to put in an effort towards the end but proved too lifeless to snatch the game from the seeded player. 

Pawar showed his game right from the beginning. He did not give his opponent a single opening. Pawar won 15-5, 15-8, 15-11.


Ferriera crushes Kukreja to enter quarter-finals
(Article in Indian Express, Mumbai : 21/3/1997)

Deepa Ahuja subdued Anupama Malhotra 12-15, 15-10, 15-6, 15-8 and advanced into the quarter finals, only to crush in straight games to second see Karishma  Juneja in women’s competition in the Dewan Housing Squash Challenge at the Otter’s Club today. 

Karishma won 15-5, 15-8, 15-7 to enter the semi finals alongwith Rea Bhandare and Parineeta Choudhari, who too registered easy wins. 

Fancied Paul Ferreira had a smooth sailing into the last eight with handing out a 3-0 drubbing to Abhijit Kukerja. Akhil Behl and Jatin Mehta also entered the quarter with identical victory margins. 

Amit Pal Kohli overcame Waman Apte’s challenge in the most keenly contested encounter of the day to enter quarters with a 5-15, 15-9, 15-13, 15-11 victory.


Narrow Escope For  Pawar
(Article in Afternoon, Mumbai : 26/3/1997)

It is very unlikely that in his long career as the ten times national professional champion, Chandrakant Pawar  Could have come through successfully after being on the brink of defeat as it was in the final of the professional singles of the Rs.70,000 Dewan Housings Squash Challenge, conducted by Indian Squash Professionals, at the Otter’s Club air-conditioned glass-back court last Sunday. 

The Leela Professional was trailing Santosh More, of Otters, 8-15, 12-15 and 10-14, with defeat staring him in the face. But More in not playing safe and instead going for the kill played into the hands of the experienced Pawar, who eventually won the third game at 15-14 and the next two games at 15-7, 15-11. 

Santosh More, the fifth seed, had in the previous round surprisingly got the better of second seed, Anant More, in straight games. Another to impress was the 8th seed, Rajesh Sonawane, of Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana, who made the last four for the first time with a win over 4th seed, Sunil Verma. Riaz Mohammed was another full of promise. 

It did not require a Nostradamus to predict that Akhil Behl would emerge champion in the men’s event. This professional Squash Association (PSA) player is ranked 117th in the world. 

He won untroubled all the way and did not drop a game, ending with an easy match in the final against Niraj Shirgaokar. The scores read15-4, 10-15, 15-10.

Niraj Shirgaokar was slow and could not read Behl’s game, often being caught on the wrong foot. It was apparent that Niraj Shirgaokar was not as fit as he should be. 

In the previous round Niraj Shirgaokar got the better of second seed Paul Ferreira, who did not seem to have his heart in the game. Both Shirgaokar and Ferreira are busy concentrating on their studies. 

There were encouraging performances by Amitpal Kohli, who did well to take a game off Niraj Shirgaokar, by Rohan Juneja who pushed Ferreira to four games and by Gaurav Juneja in his encounter with Cyrus Poncha. 

More was expected of the top seed, thirteen year old Rhea Bhandare, in the Women’s event. She was seemingly off colour in her semi final clash with Parineeta Choudhari, who thus avenged an earlier defeat.


Akhil Behl claims squash title
(Article in Free Press journal, Mumbai : 23/3/1997) 

Akhil Behl became the first men’s champion in the Rs.70,000 Dewan Housing Squash Challenge, conducted by Indian  Squash Professionals. At the Otters Club glass back courts on Sunday night he made short work of Niraj Shirgaokar, winning at 15-4, 15-10, 15-10 to pick up the first prize of Rs.6,500. Shirgaokar had to be content with Rs.4,000. 

In the Women’s final, Parneeta Chaudhari was generally in command in her match against Karishma Juneja, but was taken the full distance before she emerged victorious at 13-15, 15-5, 15-5, 19-17, 15-12. 

The professionals final also went to five games. Chandrakant Pawar rallying after being two games down to get the better of Anant More at 8-15, 12-15, 15-14, 15-7, 15-11. Both the winners and runners-up received prizes of Rs.6,500 and Rs.4,000 respectively.


Ahuja, Anvekar enter second round Mohd Ayaz oust Borade to enter pre-quarterfinals
 (Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 20/3/1997) 

Deepa Ahuja unfolded an astounding game to snatch away victory from Anupama Malhotra in the Dewan Housing Squash Tournament being played at Otter’s Club, Bandra on Wednesday. 

Deepa defeated Anupama 12-15,15-10, 15-6, 15-8. Anupama played well during the first game displaying the best of the techniques that she possessed. 

Anupama won the first game after a long resistance with the opponent. But towards the end of the game Anupama’s drop shots became her forte and bought her 12-15 victory. 

Anupama started the second game on a good note while, Deepa showed improvement to overtake her rival and won the game 15-10. With the overall score coming to levels at the end of the second game. Deepa had already proved how better she could render. She then faced no obstacle in over throwing Anupama to win the remaining games and the match 15-6, 15-8. 

In another Women’s match Deepali Anvekar enjoyed a cake-walk victory against Sonia Suri, Deepali won 15-11, 15-8, 15-8. 

Sonia Suri who was playing her third tournament after she made her debut last year played better than what was expected from her. Deepali who seemed to have under-estimated Sonia played some very careless strokes. But as Sonia started proving her game Deepali was nimble enough to concentrate and win the first game 15-11 which went close enough for Deepali to fight. 

Deepali then never gave a chance to Sonia to pose any sort of threat winning the remaining two games 15-8, 15-8.

In the professional category Ayaz Mohammed advanced into the pre-quarterfinals beating Kishan Borade 3-1. 

The first game was quite an easy victory for Ayaz who won the game 15-4. In the second game Kishan exhibited with some gleaming shots beat the opponent but failed in his propose with Ayaz proving himself towards the end. Kishan excelled in the third game beating Ayaz who was marching ahead to victory. 

Even though Ayaz tried his best to complete the assignment in that very game he was hindered by Kishan who won the game 15-12. Ayaz asserted victory in the fourth game to win the match 15-4, 15-11, 12-15, 15-6. 

Yakub Shaikh enjoyed a lucid victory over Narayan Sonawane  who was never given a chance to even think of victory. Yakub won the match 15-1, 15-5, 15-2.

Kishore Bamania had a tough time against Kishore Tambe again in the professional category. Bamania had to battle it out in each and every game to win the first round. 

The points went neck to neck in the first game until Bamania over powered Tambe to win the game 15-9. The second game turned out to be of better contention with both players fighting hard to prove their mastery in the game but Bamania over proved better winning the game 17-16.

Bamania fought his way into the immediate round triumphing the game and the match 15-9, 17-16, 15-11.


Akhil Behl and Parineeta score contrasting wins
( Article in Times of India, Mumbai : 24/3/1997)

Akhil Behl and Parineeta Choudhari reigned supreme on the concluding day of the Rs.70,000 Dewan Housing Squash Challenge at Otters Club a/c glass back court on Sunday. 

Akhil defeated Niraj Shirgaokar in a one sided encounter 15-4, 15-10, 15-10 while Parineeta accounted for Karishma Juneja in a thrilling match  Parineeta won 13-15, 15-5, 15-5, 16-17, 15-12. 

Akhil was far too quick for the leaden footed Niraj. He was on to the ball in a track, often sending Niraj the wrong way by changing his shot at the last moment. Niraj did well to make the final as he had accounted for the seasoned Ferreira on this day. 

Parineeta, a final year Law student at K C College, dominated play from the forecourt. She played some lovely drops and delightful boasts. Karishma will have to work on her foot work. She is extremely slow around the court. 

Chandrakant Pawar defeated Anant More to win the professionals title in a five set encounter. More Led 2-0, and 14-10 in the third set. However, he inexplicably let Pawar level at 14 all. More then took a gamble and asked for one. Pawar won the point and went on to win the title as 8-15, 12-15, 15-14, 15-7, 15-11. 

The men’s and women’s winners received Rs.6,000 each while the runners-up got Rs.4,000.The pros also received the same amounts.


1997-98 to be golden year for squash: ISP
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai :19/3/1997)

1997 Squash season in Mumbai, kicks off with the Dewan Housing Squash Challenge to be played at the Otters Club, Bandra from March 19 to 23, 1997.

Taking part in this event will be the city including internationals, Akhil Behl, Paul Ferreira, and all the top professionals of the city who have just finished a clinic under renowned coach Rehmat Khan and the leading ladies of the game some whom were also recently trained by Rehmat. 

The challenge is under the auspices of the Indian Squash Professionals, a body devoted to the promotion of the sport, particularly among the ‘makers’. 

The ISP has also arrange for the clinics under renowned Pakistani coach, Rahmat Khan, besides conducting 19 tournaments in the past three years. 

Among the speakers at the press conference held at the Prabhudesai Hall, Wankhede Stadium, to announce the tournament, was Parineeta Choudhari, and active player, who stressed that the special focus of the ISP was to create a talented ladies team by the end of the year, which could be achieved by more sponsorships and encouragement. 

Mr. Viyaykumar Gautam, director ISP, said that 1997-98 will be golden era for squash as the ISP will have a series of tournaments. A total prize  money of Rs.70,000/- will be stake in this tournament  to be held under the auspices of the Indian Squash Professionals, who made a record of 19 tournaments in the past 3 years.

The event will be held in three categories---men’s women’s and professionals.

Prize money will be given to the top eight in every category with the winners taking home Rs.6,500 each and the runners-up in the three categories will pocket Rs.4,000 each. The third and fourth finishers will take home Rs.2,500 each. 

The Indian Squash Professionals have roped in new sponsors to the sports in Dewan Housing Finance corporation Ltd., the second largest housing finance finance company in the private sector.


Poncha extended
(Article in The Daily, Mumbai : 20/3/1997) 

Fourth Seeded Cyrus  Poncha was given a tough fight round of the Rs.70,000 Dewan Housing Squash Challenge at the otters Club, Bandra, here today. He won the first game over the extra points at 17-16 and the second with a measure of comfort at 15-9. 

Oberoi, however, rallied in the third to score at 15-8 and fourth did well to pick up 11 points before Poncha clinched the match.


Chandrakant Pawar rallies To down Santosh, Wins Pro Title
(Article In Asian Age, Mumbai : 24/03/1997) 

Mumbai, March 23: Top Seed Akhil Behl as expected had a comfortable victory of 15-7, 15-10, 15-10 over fourth seed Niraj Shirgaokar to clinch the mens finals of the Rs.27,000/-. Dewan Housing Squash Challenge played at the courts of Otter’s Club on Sunday evening. Akhil Behl took how the top prize of Rs. 6,500/- while Shirgaokar had to be satisfied with the runners-up purse of Rs.4,000. 

Akhil, who had been playing well throughout the tournament, faced no threat from his opponent, who had stunned the second seeded, Paul Ferreira after a long battle on Saturday. 

A fighting Chandrakant Pawar staged a superb rally to scrap to victory against fourth seed Santosh More in the finals of the professional category of the same tournament. 

Pawar, who is the top seed. Had a tough time against his opponent. Santosh, who has been in great form even before the game started. In the first game Santosh played quite well, not allowing Pawar to take any sort of a lead. Santosh eventually clinched the first game 15-8. Santosh then blazed through the second game, winning 15-12. with his back against the wall, Pawar staged a superb fight back improving on his performance in the first two game. The third game being a crucial one for Pawar because if he lost it would be the end. Santosh, with a two-game lead, relaxed just a bit giving Pawar the chance to come back into the match. The course of the game seemed to have changed when Santosh, on match ball with the scores being 14-10 in his favour, let the initiative slip, Pawar fought as Santosh made quite a few errors, hitting the tin. Pawar finally wrapped up the game 15-14. 

The third game loss unnerved Santosh and Pawar had a comfortable 15-7 win in the fourth game to level the scores. Santosh than had to compensate for the mistakes that he had committed in the third game losing the title with the scores of 15-8, 15-12, 15-14, 15-7, 15-11. 

In the women’s final third seed, Parineeta Choudhari created and upset beating the second seed Karishma Juneja 15-13, 5-15, 5-15, 17-16, 15-12.


Shirgaokar stuns Ferreira, to clash with Behl for title
(Article in Asian Age, Mumbai : 23/03/1997)

Mumbai, March 22: The unheralded Niraj Shirgaokar caused a major upset ousting the 2nd seed Paul Ferreira in the men’s category semifinals of Rs.70,000/- Dewan Housing Squash Challenge played at Otter’s Club and organised by Indian Squash professionals on Saturday. 

The second seed Paul, who had been struggling in the previous matches, finally made his way out after being beaten 15-14, 8-15, 15-11, 15-13 by Niraj. 

In the first game Niraj played quite confidently taking advantage of some of Paul’s lose shots. Paul seemed to be playing very casually in the beginning of the first game but fought back later. However, Niraj seized the initiative, winning the first game 15-13 after a long battle. 

Paul fought back in order to keep himself in the game, not allowing Niraj to pose any sort of threat from any anywhere. Niraj, even though after losing the second game 8-15 seemed to be played in the first game. 

Paul, however, looked jaded and quite upset with things not going his way. Even with a second game victory he seemed to be quite unsatisfied with the way he played.  

In the third game Niraj again came up with an extra-ordinary performance. His drop shots did the job as a frustrated Paul was unable to concentrate on the game Niraj won the third game 15-11 to maintain pressure on Paul. 

Paul tried his best in the fourth game to keep the flickering gleam of hope alive but Niraj came out to play better in order to mark is victory 15-14, 8-15, 15-11, 15-13. 

In another semifinals top seed Akhil Behl disposed of Gaurav Juneja 15-7, 15-7, 15-6. Gaurav looked no match for Akhil right from beginning. Akhil who won the Leela title last month is all set to capture this title, but has to fame high flying Niraj Shirgaokar who could create yet another upset on Sunday. 

In the semifinals of the women’s category Parineeta Choudhari created an upset by beating the top seed Rhea Bhandare 15-11, 15-7, 15-7. Rhea was playing quite in the first game but lo0st control over the game. After her defeat in the first game Rhea could not fight back into the game losing the remaining two games to make an exit from the tournament. 

Santosh More, the fifth seed, surprisingly accounted for second seed Anant More in the professionals category semifinals. Santosh will now meet top seed Chandrakant Pawar in the finals.


20th Tournament Organised by ISP