: Lustily cheered on by close friend and actor Neha Dhupia, top seed Ritwik
Bhattacharya weathered the challenge of Pakistan’s Khalid Atlas Khan to
win the men’s title on the concluding day of the ISP Platinum Jubilee All
India Squash Carnival at JVPG and the Club Ritwik triumphed 12-10, 11-9,
women’s crown was a no contest as national champion Joshna Chinappa
trounced her younger Chennai mate 11-5, 11-8, 11-9.
played high intensity squash in the first two games. He kept Ritwik
guessing, varying his shots, and playing the backbone drop to a nicety.
it was in the business end of both games that the Pakistani flattered.
Ritwik’s games from the forecourt took its toll, as he wrong footed his
opponent with rasping shots.
third was a little easier for the India no. 1 his shots were hugging the
sidewalls and the nagging length had Khalid in trouble.
picked up a whoping Rs. 1 lakh as prize money while Khalid had to settle for
was in no trouble really. I was trying out a few different things. I was
playing a tournament after a long time,” noted the happy champ.
match will stand me in good stead for the PSA events I will be playing in
of the winners were exerted on the day, as Joshna Chinappa and Ritwik
Bhattacharya downed their respective opponents to emerge victorious in the
ISP platinum Jubilee squash tournament on Wednesday.
who has been testing his wares coming off a break, and experimenting with
his game-style faced some stiff moments against Pakistan’s Khalid Atlas
Khan in his opening game bur pounced on his tiring opponent thereafter to
finish a 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 stroll.
rallies dominated the first game, but Khan’s impatience saw him go
forcefully for the winners, making his game error-prone, even as
Bhattacharya plugged in those gaps finding his own shots.
wasn’t very impressive, I was a little tentative. But I’ve been trying
out a few things in my game, so used this tournament as a warmup,” the
27-years-old Indian said. He next plays PSA events in Sweden and Canada.
the women’s final, Joshna Chinappa, faced few troubles despite playing
with a strapped ankle against younger Dipika Pallikal, winning 11-5, 11-8,
11-9. “I didn’t put too much pressure on myself today, just did enough
to win,” Chinappa said later. Pallikal has added to her repertoire of
shots and at slower movement on court proved to be her undoing in the quick
wrapup of an encounter for Chinappa.
was an Indo-Pak clash but minus the frenzy and an emotionally-charged
atmosphere, which is prevalent during every cricket match between the two
was the crowd boisterous, nor were the players at each other’s throats. In
fact, they maintained decorum and then spectators enjoyed every moment
acknowledging shots from both the players.
was at its best at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana yesterday where top seed
Ritwik Bhattacharya justified his top billing by beating second seed Khalid
Atlas Khan of Pakistan 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 in the men’s final of the ISP
Platinum Jubilee All India squash Carnival 2007, organized by the Indian
was just another game for me. It hardly mattered that we are from
Ritwik after the match.
was value for money for the spectators as a20-years-old Khalid matched his
senior counterpart in every indulged in long rallies and came up out play
was in the lead twice – 10.09 and 09.08 in the first and second set-but he
erred giving Ritwik an opportunity to bounce back and wrap up the game.
was a bit tentative initially, as at was my first proper game of the
tournament. I had hardly been tested so far.
was good but he is still junior to me. He got tired in the second game game
and relied on finishing shots only. That allowed me take hold of the
match,” added Ritwik.
however, had no regrets. “I came close but was not able to finish it off.
Ritwik was too good,” said Khalid who is staying back in the city to
conduct a coaching camp.
enjoyed playing in Mumbai. The crowd was so supportive. I am looking forward
to coaching Indian youngsters for probably 10 days, before heading back to
Peshawar,” Khalid added.
the women’s final, top seed Joshna Chinappa continued her fine run
defeating second seed Dipika Pallikal 11-5, 11-8, and 11-9 at The Club,
Andheri. Dipika played well in patches but wasn’t convincing enough to
trouble her senior at any stage of the match, which lasted for only 21
Stuns top seed verma for Professionals crown
sedd Ritwik Bhattacharya justified his top billing by beating second seed
Khalid Atlas Khan of Pakistan 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 in the men’s category of
the ISP Platinum squash carnival 2007, on Wednesday.
bagged along with the title, a prize purse of Rs. 1,00,000.
made a good return to title winning ways after an unsuccessfully attempt to
win the gold medal at the recently concluded Asian Games.
boy from Delhi fought hard in a final that turned out to be an Indian versus
Pakistan affair with Khalid Atlas Khan joining him in the finals.
had to sweat it out against Khan, who was intent on fighting right till the
first game set the tone for the match as Bhattacharya and Khan battled their
way through long rallies. Bhattacharya saved game point in the first game
point and thanks to an error from Khan, took the first game.
second was just as close but Bhattacharya managed to keep his nose ahead and
win the game 11-9.
third game was much more intense with the both players falling over each
other on more than a few Occasions. The tiring Khan however couldn’t keep
up with Bhattacharya and lost the game 11-7.
wasn’t playing my best squash today. This game was all about grinding out
a result and I managed that. The tournament has been great and hats off to
ISP and I hope to be a part of more of their his encounter.
the women’s final also went according to the seedings as top seed Joshna
Chinappa demolished second seed Deepika Pallikal 11-5, 11-8, 11-9.
a game that was littered with errors and hence short rallies, Chinappa beat
her close friend Pallikal in 21 minutes.
first game was a one sided affair with Chinappa dicating the play. In the
third game Deepika was leading 4-0 but she lost her initiatives and also the
the Professionals final, second seed Sanjay Pawar of Mumbai upset arch-rival
and top seed Mahesh Verma of Nashik 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4.
SEEDS Joshna Chinappa and Ritwik Chinappa were on a roll winning the
women’s and men’s title, respectively, in the ISP Platinum All-India
Squash Carnival 2007, organized by the Indian squash professionals.
champion Joshna, who has climbed to no.38th in the world, qulled
the challenge of second seed Deepika Pallikal in the women’s final played
at The Club, Andheri on Wednesday. Joshna seemed to be in quite a hurry and
got into her stride instantly to record a 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, win injust 21 minutes.
too did not encounter much of a challenge from second seed Khalid Atlas Khan
of Pakistan in the men’s final played at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana
Club, ranked 41 in the professional squash association circuit, Ritwik
breezed to 12-10, 11-9, 11-7, Victory Ritwik was richer by rs. 1,00,000.
RITWIK CHART CONTRASTING WAYS TO LIFT RESPECTIVE TITLES
was a day of contrasting wins for the champions. Joshna Chinappa cruised
past the junior national champion Dipika Pallikal, while Ritwik Bhattacharya
strived hard before overcoming Khalid Atlas Khan from Pakistan to lay their
hands on the 75th ISP All India Squash Championship titles at two
differentvenues in the city.
an all-Chennai affair, senior national champion, Joshna Chinappa maintained
her unbeaten record over Dipika Pallikal winning in straight games in just
21 minutes at The Club in Andheri. This was her fourth win over Dipika.
her Egypt sojourn, there was not much the 15 years old Dipika could say or
do about the match. The abjaect loss made her concede though that she indeed
has to go along way to go before beating Joshna. “I still have more to
learn about the game and playing with Joshna has helped me,” said Dipika.
was a bit rusty since he was coming back after a month’s lay-off. The lack
of match practice showed in the first game at Juhu Gymkhana as he was pushed
to the walls by his Pakistani rival from Peshawar. However, the Delhi based
Ritwik mixed both aggression and defensive tactics true to his reputation of
having a well-balanced game. After a down and eventually won but crucially,
he got some confidence for the battles ahead.
tournament come at a right time for my tune-up to the major leagues that I
am about to play in Qatar and Toronto. Now that I know my draw backs, I
shall work on it.” Said Ritwik who is training hard at the CCI in Mumbai.
it was the under – 17 boys section that drew more attention and applause.
The final encounter between Cyril Kuhn from Tamil Nadu and Laxman Joshi from
Jndal witnessed a five-game match for the first time in this six-day
tournament. At the end of the marathon tie, the Chennai lad prevailed
7-11,11-5,13-11,6-11,12-11. Sanjay Pawar, son of National Champion
Chandrakant,, won in the professional’s category beating Mahesh Varma from
Second seed Khalid Atlas
Khan of Pakistan top seed Ritwik Bhattacharya and women’s fourth seed
Shivangi Paranjpe made it to the quarterfinals of the 75th
tournament, the ISP Platinum all India squash Carnival, organised by the
Indian Squash Professionals at the glass backed squash courts of the Juhu
Vile Parle Gymkhana and the Club, Andheri , here on Sunday.
Khalid made quick work of
Prateek Tomar thrashing him 11-4, 11-2, 11-4.
Unleashing a commanding
performance, second seed Khalid Atlas Khan of Pakistan stormed his way into
the quarterfinals of the men’s open event in the ISP all India Squash
tournaments at the club courts on Sunday.
With a complete control
right from the outset, Khalid made light work of Prateek Toomer as he
fashioneda 11-4, 11-2, 11-4
win in the lopsided encounter .
In what way pretty one
sided affair Khalid didn’t look like he even broke into a sweat as his
superior fitness told on the court when he tool on Prateek Toomer. The
general pace of the game wasn’t slow but a few errors on the part of
Toomar cost him dear. His hard work was undone as his errors came on crucial
points with the pressure telling on him. Khalid didn’t seem to be bothered
by the mistakes of his opponent and continued playing the game in all
Top seed Ritwik
Bhattacharya appeared in cruise mode while registrating a resounding 11-0,
11-1, 11-2, win over Vivek Khanna.
Keeping in line with the
fancied players having an easy outing to enter the quarters, third seed Adil
Khan of Pakistan too was equally impressive as he accounted for Vaibhav
Sinha with ease
Mumbai: playing at the Juhu Vile Parle
Gymkhana courts for the first time ever, top draw Ritwik Bhattacharya showed
no signs of rustiness as he crushed Vivek Khanna 11-0, 11-1, 11-2 to move
into the quarterfinals of the indian squash professionals platinum Jubilee
all Indian squash Carnival at the JVPG and the Club on Sunday.
Ritwik, who is the highest ranked Indian on
the PSA rankings at no .41, had climbed to a career-best 38- in 2006.
Khanna, playing on his home courts, did
manage to rally with the top seed in the early exchanges. But Ritwik soon
got into his groove and began controlling play from the forecourt. He made
quick kills and scored with deft drops.
In the thirds, Khanna ‘s face lit up
after he wrongfooted Ritwik ona
Ritwik was not done for the day as he
practised with Cadet Vaibhav Sinha of the NDA. Ritwik said later, “ it is
encouraging nowadays when youngsters come up to you and ask you for a
hit.” Next up for the No. 1 seed is Dhiraj Nagpal, trained by the ISP.
The India no. 1 is trying to put the Doha
reverse behind him. “Saurav (Ghosal) played well on that day and I also
got hit on the nose,” noted Ritwik Saurav picked up the bronze at the
Ritwik has been training in London for the
past one month. “I Plan to play in three big PSA tournaments (Sweden,
Canada and New York) in February and I will then return to Mumbai for an
event in March.
Ritwik rates hit title in Chennai as his
best performance in 2006. “I defeated Saurav picked up the semis and got
the better of Dylan Bennett of The Netherlands in the final.”
TOP SEED Ritwik
Bhattacharya of India and second seed Khalid Atlas Khan of Pakistan had easy
outings en route to the quarterfinals of the ISP Platinum All India squash
carnival 2007, organised by the Indian squash professionals.
Bhattacharya did not have
to break into a sweat as he demolished compatriot Vivek Khanna 11-0, 11-1,
11-2 at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana (JVPG) Club glass-backed courts on
The top-ranked Indian
started off aggressively and with his powerplay, solid strokes and excellent
court craft completely dominated the match. His younger opponent Khanna,
Unable to match the seasoned compaigner. Had no other option but to cave in
Bhattacharya now meets
Dhiraj Nagpal of Mumbai, who beat Harjinder Singh in four games 11-5, 8-11,
The Pakistan ace Khalid
Atlas Khan also did not have to work hard as he brushed aside the feeble
challenge of India ‘s Prateek Tomer winning 11-4, 11-2, 11-4. Khalid was
always in control as he raced to an easy victory and a berth in the last
Another Pakistani players
third seed Adil Khan also advanced to the quarterfinal . Khan tamed India
‘s Vaibhav Sinha 11-1, 11-2, 11-1 in a pre quarterfinals encounter.
In women’s action
Mumbai girls Shivangi Paranjpe kept alive her chance of claiming the title
Paranjpe was in her elements was in her elements as she convincingly beat
Purvi Bala 11-2, 11-0.
Back home they are rated
highly. The five Atlas brothers Naveed, Khalid, Adil, Amir and Danish are on
course to bring squash glory back to their country.
Aamir and Khalid
especially are believed to be the future of Pakistan squash. They are trying
to match the standards set by their uncle Jansher Khan (Former world no 1)
and cousin Amjad Khan (former world no 11).
“We are working hard to
reach the highest level. Aamir is highly talented and has all the qualities
to be world no 1, said Khalid who is in the city along with brother Adil and
cousin Shoukat Raza Khan to participate in the ongoing ISP Platinum Jubilee
All India Squash Carnival 2007 at Juhu Vile Perle Gymkhana and the Club
Aamir has been a
revelation over the past few years. He finished second in the U-19 British
Open earlier this month losing to Egyptian Omar Mosaad in the final
The 16 years old Pathan
from Nawa Kali, Peshwar is the second ranked player in his country. He has a
current world ranking of35.
only Mansoor Zaman is ahead of Aamir with a world ranking of31.
The Teenage sensation
from pakistan couldn’t make it to the Mumbai, “ ISP Chairman Mahendra
Agarwal had asked me for four players. but Aamir was busy with a PSA
tournament in Sweden,” said Khalid. Khalid and Adil have won a handful of
international tournaments. Khalid is the second seed in the ISP Carnival and
is tiuted to meet India no. 1 Ritwik Bhattacharya in the finals. “I am not
expecting any serious challenge until the semi-finals where I might meet
Adil,” said the 20 year-old.
Is he prepared for the
Ritwik challenge?“ he has
been me in our previous meeting. But that was two years back. Now I am more
mature to push him hard. I am here to play and win. Talks are on, as well,
with cricket Club of India for a coaching assignment. So I am looking
forward to the final,” Khalid added.
He has fond memories of
India. “I was a member of the Pakistan squash that won the world junior
team event in Chennai after a gap of 22 years in 2002.
I played in Mumbai in the
Herald Otter’s Club tournament and made it to the quarter-finals.” 1
player with a current national ranking of eight.
TOP IN PAK
The Atlas brothers have
attained the top national ranking in the all the age categories ranging from
U-13 TO U-19. “ In 2003 and 2004, four of us were national champions in
the u-13 (Danish), U-15 (Amir), U-17(Adil) and U-19 (Khalid)category,” Khalid said.
RITWIK HAS BEATEN ME IN
OUR PREVIOUS MEETING. BUT THAT WAS TWO YEARS BACK. NOW I AM MORE MATURE TO
PUSH HIM HARD. I AM HERE TO PLAY AND WIN
-KHALID ATLAS KHAN
The Atlas brothers are
not the only Pakistanis with a story at the ISP Platinum Jubilee Squash
Carnival. Their cousin Shoukat Raza Khan has Umar Gul, the talented
Pakistani Pacer, as his neighbour in
“Umar is nice human
being . he fought back into the pakistan cricket team despite a chronic back
injury. He is a fighter,” said Shoukat. “ we were in the same government
high school in Peshwar. He was senior to me by two years,”he said. “Umar
is a friend, I respect him. But I am not a cricket fan. I love squash and
I’m enjoying it,” he added.
IN A MAJOR UPSET IN THE
MEN’S OPEN, UNSEEDED Dhiraj Nagpal defeated eight seed Harjinder Singh in
four games 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, after a thrilling encounter in the third
round of the ISP Platinum ALL India Squash Carnival 2007, organised by the
Indian squash professionals at the glass backed squash courts of the Juhu
Vile Parle Gymkhana and the Club, Andheri, Yesterday.
“I was preparing for my
exams and had put on some weight. I hadn’t played for a while, so I was
kept unseeded for the tournament. But, I am happy that I won,” said Dhiraj
after the game at Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana .
But Dhiraj happiness
might be shortlived as he is meeting top seed Ritwik Bhattacharya in the
quarterfinal today. “it is going to be a really tough match for me,” he
Bhattacharya eased past
Vivek Khanna 11-0, 11-1, 11-2 in straight sets.
Local girl and fourth
seed Shivangi Paranjpe all made it to the quarterfinals of the women’s
She defeated Purvi Bala
convincingly 11-2, 11-0. Paranjpe.
Atlas brothers Khalid and
Adil also marched into quarters with straight set wins in the third round.
But Chinapa has been managing
without one for a month now
They are the top squash players of
the country. One is a junior Champion, while the other holds her own
in the Senior section. Then, what's the difference between the two?
It's about their coach. Joshna
Chinappa, the current would No.40, has run out of a coach for the
first time. In fact, she has been without a coach for almost a month
now. Meanwhile junior champion Dipika Pallikal has finally found
It was Mohd. Medhaad who last
coached Joshna. That's not much of a concern for her though.
"That does not bother me much. I am a professional player and I
am well versed with the game. But the need of the houe is a trainer
coach which I am looking for," says Joshna, after her 11-minute
outing in the quarterfinal against Jindal player Shweta Singh at the
ongoing Open Squash Championship here.
Fresh from a major tournament in
New York where she beat some top players, Joshna is confident she
can manage without a coach for now.
"One needs a coach in the
initial stages but now i am a seasoned player. With my father beside
me, a coach is not that important for me now," she says.
On the contrary Chennai girl Dipika
has managed to find someone to coach her. After being stunted out of
the academy in Chennai, thanks to Mittal Trust Dipika has found a
coach Mohd Hafiz.
"He is much more than just a
coach. He is also like a fried a guardian. I hope i will be able to
take my rankings to inside 100 (She's currently ranked 123) with hsi
guidance," says Dipika, while adding that Hafiz could not make
it to India due to some visa problems. "It would have been
great had he been here."
Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa
literally walked into the women's semifinals of the ISP Open Squash
Championship at the Club, Andheri on Monday. Joshna just needed 11
minutes before disposing off Jindal lass Shweta Singh 11-4 11-3 11-5
while Dipika who took some to settle down in the first game, swept
aside the challenge of Anoushka patel 11-6 11-1 11-2. Joshna takes
on Shivangi Paranjpe, a 11-2 11-3 11- winner over Kiran Mirpuri,
next. Dipika will clash with Mandy Kennedy in the semis. In the
men's section, Vikas Jhangra stunned fourth seed Shoukat Raza Khan
11-4 11-9 10-12 11-8. The other seeds had it easy to the last four.
indifference of the State Rackets Federation of India towards their
careers is forcing India's squash talent to look for greener
the stories of Dipika Pallikal and Cyril Kuhn are any indications,
then Indian squash may be going through what Indian academia faced
in the '800s:brain-drain.
with the alleged indifference of State Rackets Federation of India
towards her career, 15 year old Dipika has shifted her base to Egypt
while her doubles partner has his eyes set on Germany.
am training under Egyptian coach Mohd Essam Hafiz at Cairo since
three months, said the Chennai lass after storming into the women's
semifinals of the ISP Platinum Jubilee All India Squash Carnival at
The Clun Andheri yesterday.
India women's No. 2 confessed that the decision to end her five-year
association with India Cements Limited (ICL) Academy was tough but
something she had to do. "Now I am under no pressure. I am
relaxed and can concentrate on my career. My game has improved
vastly and my qualificatin for the pre quarters of the U-17 British
Open proves it," she added.
Dipika, Khun is also planning to move abroad. "I am not allowed
to play at the national level because of the German passport. But I
was sssured that I would face no hassles in representing India.
However, despite being in the top six, I was not included in the
six-man squad to the Asian Juniors even after one of the top five
junior players Vikram Malhotra pulled out," said Kuhn in a
Dipika, "I was not called for the trials of the Asian Junior
Open in HongKong scheduled to be held from February 3-7 despite
being India's Junior No.1"
followed the decision from SRFI to deny her a berth in the Doha
Asian Games in December last year.
was asked to ready for the Doha Asian Games. Suddenly I learnt I
wasn't included in the squad. The SRFI game me different reasons
from being too young to compete in the Asiads to not being a medal
prospect to lack of funding," she added.
AGAINST SRFI FOR DOHA DRAW
senior coaches across the country came together to file a public interest
litigation (PIL) at the Delhi High Court yesterday to highlight the
grievances of the players and the manner in which the SRFI is
have nothing in particular against the SRFI. Our main objective is
to clean the system and make its functions transparent," said
main petitioner and former national coach AI Singh.
against SRFI are mainly in conjunction with the draw trouble at the
Doha Asian Games. "When the draw was made by the SRFI, the
Pakistani and MAlayasian officials involved were influenced by the
Indian side," alleged another petitioner Rahul Kumar.
was involved in making an unruly draw in Chennai which saw the sixth
seed Saurav Ghosal and fourth seed Ritwik Bhattacharys clashing in
the Asian Games squash quarterfinals. This ensured that one of the
two claimed a bronze medal.
PROFESSIONALS (ISP) will celebrate their 75th tournament
at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana and The Club, Andheri, from January
26 to 31. The ‘ISP Platinum Jubilee all india squash carnival
2007’ offers a prize money of Rs. 5.45 lakh.
extravaganza will have top Indian players like Ritwik Bhattacharya
and Vikas Jangra battling it out with against a Pakistan trio of
Khalid Atlas Khan, Shoukat Raza Khan and Adil Atlas Khan in the
men’s singles. The star attractions in women will be Joshna
Chinappa and Dipika Pillikal.
Top Indian squash
players will be vying for honours in the ISP Platinum Jubilee All-
India Squash Carnival, to be organized by Indian Squash
Professionlas from January 26 to 31 at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana
and The Club, Andheri, respectively .
In the men’s
segment, indian number one and world no. 41 Ritwik Bhattacharya has
received the top billing followed by three players from oakistan
Khalid Atlas Ansari, Shaukat Raza and Adil Atlas Khan. The winner in
the men’s segment will be richer by Rs. 1,00,000. whereas the
runner up will take home Rs. 50,000. The losing semifinalists will
be receiving Rs. 20,000 each respectively.
Fifteen years ago when Mahendra Agarwal decided to help the makers
who taught him and his friends to play squash at The Leela, notably
Chandrakant Pawar, he did not think of what lay ahead. But one thing
led to another.
This week, the
Agarwal founded Indian Squash Professionals, will be staging its 75th
squash event making it a platinum jubilee to covet. And they are
going to show off. And how? With big prize money, big stars, showbiz
and all. No wonder they pride themselves as a unique sporting NGO.
Indeed, the ISP
has done more than most sporting associations and they have proved
that a sporting NGO can exist in harmony with the local association.
The ISP has thought out of the box to help boost squash which was a
sport restricted to the downtown areas. They were the first to hold
the doubles tournament in Mumbai. Thanks to ISP, the game spread
into the suburbs.
A number of
clubs which had sprung up in the suburbs had squash courts. The ISP
ensured that only qualified professionals worked at these clubs.
They arranged coaching clinics for these pros so that the kids at
the clubs got the benefit of uniform coaching. For the seniors,
there were pros at the various hotels which had squash courts. And
it was taken a notch higher when housing societies had squash courts
and were able to use the services of pros from ISP. The pros became
so confident that in no time they were hopping from club to club and
improving their bank balance. Some of them have have flats and cars,
all thanks to the push the ISP gave them.
mission fulfilled, ISP began diversifying: adopting players-for
squash is a costly game-organizing coaching camp, having celebrities
involved in the sport as well as ushering in new technology (like
importing the Booster machine) and having their website. Arif Paul
(1996), Deepali Anvekar (1997), Priyanka Yadav(1999), Abhishek
Pradhan (2003), and Ankita Sharma (2005) have been the beneficiaries
of ISP’s adoption.
After the marathon
on the roads, it is time for a marathon indoors. 450 players will
take part in 16 events over six days at the ISP Platinum Jubilee
Squash Cranival to be held at The Club (Andheri) and Juhu Vile Parle
Ashish Gupta, the
president of Indian Squash Professionals (ISP), said the age groups
are from under 7 to over 60 ensuring all squash enthusiasts can test
Doubles was the
event that ISP promoted for the first time in Mumbai and it will see
the most competitors.
Indian top stars
Ritwik Bhattacharya, Joshna Chinappa, Deepika Pallikal will be seen
along with Pakistan players Khalid Atlas (ranked no. 80), Shaukat
Raza and Adil Atlas. There will be some razmatazz as well with Nisha
Sagar’s fashion show being the top of the list.
singles winner stands to gain Rs. 1 lakh, with the runner-up getting
richer by Rs. 50,000. while the women’s singles winner will take
home Rs. 50,000. and the runner-up Rs. 25,000. prize money in all
categories will be offered up to the semifinal stage.
India’s No 1
squas player Ritwik Bhattacharya will lead the Indian challenge in
the men’s category of the ISP Platinum Jubilee All-India Squash
Carnival 2007 that will also see three Pakistani players in action
at Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana and The Club –– its official venue,
from January 26-31.
World No 41, Ritwik, the top seed in this tournament, is followed by
three Pakistanis — Khalid Atlas Khan (World No 80), Shaukat Raza
Khan and Adil Atlas Khan.
After an eventful 2006, Ritwik Bhattacharya is aiming to start his
2007 campaign on a solid note.
In fact, he arrived in the city quite early so as to get into the
groove for the prestigious tournament.
“Earlier, I had planned a trip to America to play in some
tournaments there. But, I changed my mind to have enough time to
practice here,” Ritwik told MiD DAY.
“I had committed myself for this tournament and I’m very
enthusiastic about it. I landed here five days earlier so as to get
some crucial practice before the actual event gets underway on
January 26,” he added.
Ritwik attained his all-time best ranking of 38 in November last
year. However he had some forgettable matches against fellow Indian
players — he has lost twice to India No 2 Saurav Ghosal and once
to India No 3 Gaurav Nandrajog since August 2006.
His last major tournament was the Doha Asian Games where he went
down to Ghosal 4-1 (9-4, 9-0, 6-9, 9-7) in the quarter-finals.
However, Ghosal is not playing in this tournament.
So will he be missing out on some quality opposition?
“I don’t know about that because I have not received the draw
yet. So, I am unaware who all are participating in the event.
But, I’d like to start the new season on a winning note and a win
here would be a nice warm up for my Europe tour which is in
February,” Ritwik said.
COME Republic Day, the city will witness a squash carnival. The
Indian Squash Professionals (ISP) Platinum Jubilee All India
Squash Carnival 2007 to be held from January 26 to 31 will see
the best in India, including Ritwik Bhattacharya and Joshna
Chinappa, slug it out at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana and The
Club, Andheri –– its official partner. The event will be
followed by a ramp show by fashion designer Nisha Sagar to
glamorise the game.
“We have received about 500 entries. This includes four
Pakistani players who are yet to confirm their participation. It
will be a type of carnival to generate awareness about squash,”
said ISP President, Mahendra Agarwal, the man behind the Rs
5.50-lakh-prize money event.
Repaying the game
Agarwal, a builder by profession started playing squash in 1987 and
decided to start Maharashtra Squash Professionals in 1991. The
organisation flopped but he did not lose hope and launched the ISP
in 1993 with the help of his friends.
“Squash helped me keep fit and I wanted to repay the game by making
it popular among the public. We started with four members and now we
have 20 committee members and 70 professionals,” Agarwal informed.
Besides organising tournaments throughout the calendar year, the
organisation has conducted 27 free coaching camps.
“We hire experts like Abdul Shaikh (Canada) and Rahmat Khan
(Pakistan) every year to conduct squash clinics,” he added.
ISP has also adopted players like Arif Paul (1996), Deepali Anvekar
(1997), Priyanka Yadav (1999), Abhishek Pradhan (2003) and Priyanka
Yadav. Top Maharashtra U-19 player Sandeep Jangra is also the
beneficiary of sponsorship from the ISP.
THE Indian Squash
Professionals Platinum Jubilee All-India Squash Carnival will be
held at The Club and the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana from January 26 to
Prize money worth Rs 5.50 lakh, including Rs 1 lakh for the men’s
singles winner and Rs 50,000 for the women’s singles winners, is up
Entry forms are available on
www.ispsquash.com and can be sent to the Indian Squash
Professionals Office No 2, Monarch Chambers, Marol Maroshi Road,
Andheri (E), Mumbai 400059. Entries should reach on or before
January 16. For further details contact: 28528444, 64521815, Fax:
Hopes pinned on Indian athletes
President of the Athletics Federation of India Adille Sumariwala
expects Indian athletes to stand out at the Standard Chartered
Mumbai Marathon on January 21.
“We have many competent athletes like former national champion
Shivdan Singh, Nathu Ram, Leelamma Alphonso, Reena Das and Sangini
hope they do well,” he said at a press conference at the Hilton
Double gold-medalist at the Athens Olympics Britain’s Kelly Holmes,
former Sri Lanka cricketer Aravinda DeSilva and actor Rahul Bose
were announced as the ambassadors of the marathon.
POISED TO MAKE SPORTING HISTORY (Article in Afternoon :
The Indian Squash
Professionals (ISP), the only non-profit making sports NGO in the
India, functioning since 1993 is poised on the brink of an important
milestone and founder director Mahendra Jagdish Agarwal is happy
man, but far from contented. Happy because appreciation support for
the activities of ISP is growing by the day and not content because
there is lot of work yet to be done.
1993, till date , ISP has organized 73 tournaments, 26 free coaching
camp all over India (including Rajkot and Mussorie) and adopted five
players (Arif Paul, Deepali Anvekar, Priyanka Yadav, Abhishek
Pradhan and Ankita Sharma). The ISP also has its own website, www.ispsquash.com,
which is the only active squash website in the India, updated daily
an average of 1.50,000 hits. The ISP also publishes a new magazine,
“PROSQUASH” , which is being distributed to 3000 squash players
free of cost and read by 15,000 squash lovers throughtout the
country. This magazine has completed 38 issues. Yet, Agarwal is
striving to do more, much more.
The ISP Platinum
Jubilee All India Squash Carnival, to be held from January 26 to 31
at The Club and Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana promises to be the biggest
yet. Offering prize money Rs 5.54 Lakhs, the tournament will feature
the cream of India’s talent, besides talented players from abroad
who will be invited and hosted for the event.
The ISP has many
firsts to its credit, thanks to the initiatives of Agarwal. Together
with other committee members he focused on promoting squash in the
interiors of Maharashtra (Nanded, Beed, Satara, Pimpri,
Kolhapur,Solapur, Aurangbad, Thane & Nasik) exposing masses to
the game. He also restructured the foundation of the professionals
– who were the backbone of Indian squash by setting up systems,
procedures and performance standards. before 1993, a squash
professional in Mumbai would get a mere salary of 2500 or 3000
rupees but now they minimum of Rs. 10000 per month.
involved himself completely in promotion of the game and has
succeeded to quite an extent with his energetic leadership, vision
and spirit over the years. As committee member of the Squash
Racquets Association of Maharashtra (SRAM), Agarwal succeeded in
getting up three public squash courts in Andheri sports complex,
Mumbai, Police Gymkhana, Mumbai and the Pimpri Chinchwad, Municipal
Coorporation squash court in Pune.
POISED TO MAKE SPORTING HISTORY (Article in Free Press Journal
BY A SPORTS REPORTER
The Indian Squash
Professionals (ISP), the only non-profit making sports NGO IN India,
functioning since 1993 is poised on the brink of an important milestone and
founder director Mahendra Agarwal is a happy man. Happy because appreciation
support for the activities of ISP is growing by the day and not content
because there is a lot of work yet to be done.
From January 1993, ISP
has organized 73 tournaments, 26 free coaching camps all over India and
adopted five players (Arif Paul, Deepali Anvekar, Priyanka Yadav, Abhishek
Pradhan and Ankita Sharma). The ISP also has its own Website, www.ispsquash.com,
which is the only active squash website in India, updated daily receiving
monthly an average of 1,50,000 hits. The ISP also publishes a news magazine,
“PROSQUASH”, which is being distributed to 3000 squash players free of
cost and read by 15,000 squash lovers throughout the country. Yet, Agarwal
is a striving to do more much more.
The ISP platinum Jubilee
all India squash Carnival, to be held from January 26 to 31 at the Club and
Juhu Vile ParleGymkhana
promises to be the biggest yet. Offering prize money of Rs. 5.45 lakhs, the
tournament will feature the cream of India’s talent besides talented
players from abroad who will be invited and hosted for the event.
The ISP has many first to
its credit, thanks to the initiatives of Agarwal. Together with other
committee members he focused on promoting squash in the interiors of
Maharashtra exposing masses to the game. He also restructured the foundation
of the professional – who were the backbone of Indian squash by setting up
system, procedures and performance standards. Before 1993 a squash
professional in Mumbai would get a mere salary 3000 rupees but now they get
minimum of Rs. 10000 per month.
Agarwal has involved
himself completely in promotion of the game and has succeeded to quite an
extent. As committee member of the squash Racquets Association of
Maharashtra (SRAM), Agarwal succeeded in setting up three public squash
courts in Andheri sports complex, police Gymkhana and the Pimpri Chinchwad
Municipal corporation squash court in Pune.
ISP was also instrumental
in getting the Government of Maharashtra recognition for squash in May 2000,
in association with SRAM. The ISP also introduced Jahangir Khan’s coach,
Rahmat Khan to Indian squash. He conducted two camps for ISP and currently
he is the head coach of Pakistan’s squash program.
ISP’s effect in the
promotion of the game has been appreciated by and congratulatory message
have been pouring in form the Vice President’s office, Mani Shankar Iyer,
Minister Youth Affairs and sports, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, CEC N
Gopalaswami, Kapil Dev, Amitabh Bachchan to name a few.
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Indian Squash Professionals
B/705, 7th Floor, Raylon Arcade, Next to Pidilite, Kondivita Lane, Andheri -East, Mumbai – 400 059
Tel : 9122-28314425/26/27