ISP Squash

Squash News

  19/06/2014 : IOA Secy Gen trains gun on Prez on Asian Games bid issue (Article in PTI and Economic Times, India)
1706/2014 :
Letter to Garner Asian Games Bid Support or Show of Strength? (Article in Indian Express and IANS)
14/06/2014 :
Infighting in IOA, secretary general questions president on boxing issue
03/06/2014 : Pakistan seeded second in Asian Sr Team Squash
28/04/2014 : Boxing India using money to get power: Narinder Batra Article in Zee News and TOI
24/04/2014 : 
ASF award for Saurav Ghosal, Indian team
31/03/2014 : Pranab Mukherjee presents Padma Shri award to squash player Dipika Rebecca Pallikal during Padma Awards 2014 at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi
20/03/2014 : Manek Mathur and Steve Scharff Capture U. S. National Doubles Title
20/03/2014 : Ramy Ashour Wins Second World Series Finals Titleantriz
15/02/2014 :
The other brother - Article in Telegraph
09/02/2014 : India may hoist tricolour at Sochi closing ceremony: IOA chief Ramachandran
07/02/2014 : Cases against Ramachandran may put IOA in big trouble
26/01/2014 :
Dipika Pallikal 2nd Indian Squash Player to get Padma Shri Award from Government of India
Incheon draw in squash manipulated, insists Dipika Pallikal (Hindustan Times, 12 Nov 2014) By Ajai Masand
  The 'manipulated' Incheon Asian Games singles draw in squash to ensure India a medal continues to haunt India's top woman player, Dipika Pallikal, who has once again brought the issue to the fore by asking the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to ensure such a thing doesn't happen again.

In a letter addressed to IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta on her return from Incheon with a bronze, Pallikal said she "wants to pursue the issue of not placing two fellow country players in the same half of the draw. All other sport at the Asian Games in 2006 (Doha), 2010 (Guangzhou) and 2014 (Incheon) had by rule not pitted the same country players in the same half, but squash, if you remember Sir (Mehta), had done this in 2006, 2010 and 2014."

Pallikal was so demoralised after seeing the Incheon draw, which pitted her against compatriot Joshna Chinappa in the quarter-final, that she seriously considered pulling out, but finally decided to 'play under protest'.

Pursuing the case

But on her return, she wants to pursue the issue 'to its logical end'. Pallikal's letter on October 17, 2014, further states: "I have been advised by Mr Wei Jizhong, the honorary life vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) that I can pursue this issue with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of India, so that at the next Asian Games, squash too follows the same rule as all other racquet sport."

Jizhong lived up to his promise and ensured the squash draw for the Asian Beach Games, starting on Wednesday, was in consonance with the Olympic Charter and latest 2014 WSF rule of 'Optimal Separation'.

In racquet sport, two things need to be kept in mind. First, only two players per country are allowed at the Games and second, to comply with its Olympic bid, the World Squash Federation (WSF) rulebook was changed to 'Optimum separation of players of the same nationality to be used i.e. drawn in different halves and, if there are more than two competitors from the same nation, in different quarters.'

With just two players per country participating in the Games, it's strange how two seeded Indian players have been finding themselves in the same half of the draw every time since the 2006 Doha Asiad.

Ghosal's bronze

It ensured Saurav Ghosal bronze medals in both 2006 and 2010 Asian Games.

In 2010, Ghosal was placed in the same half with Siddharth Suchde ensuring they would meet in the quarter-finals and one of them would move into the semi-finals, thus securing India at least a bronze.

So, when Pallikal defeated Chinappa in the quarter-finals at Incheon, history was repeated, in the sense that the draw was made in such a manner that India's top women squash exponents were destined to meet in the last-eight stage, being in the same half of the draw. Pallikal moved into the semis and assured a bronze.

IOA secretary-general, Rajeev Mehta, told HT that Pallikal's letter will be forwarded to the OCA which will in turn take up the issue with the Asian Squash Federation (ASF).

But the paradox is that how will N Ramachandran, the current IOA and WSF president, react to a complaint from his own office challenging his legacy on both fronts as he is still patron of the ASF and Squash Racquet Federation of India (SRFI).
It will be a piquant situation as he will be the petitioner, respondent, judge and jury to ratify or alter his own interpretations.

- See more at:
Arjuna Awardee 2014 Anaka rejected for Participation in Squash WUC - September 2014
  The SRFI/ Association of Indian Universities( AIU ) combine did not bother to study the contradictions between the Federation of International Universities (FISU) /WSF rules which has led to the best and legitimate Indian players being sidelined while the foreign participants have reaped the benefits of FISU/WSF rules.

The best examples of this discrimination is that on the 14th of July Anaka Anakalomy (Arjuna Awardee 2014) and Ramit Tandon presented their credentials to the Eligibility Committee but a few hours later they were rejected , probably on the basis that they were studying in US Colleges , but Dr K Vaithianathan (Chairman of the Eligibility Committee) has never quoted or shown the AIU rule by which they were debarred.

On the 28th of August the names of the foreign participants was released and the UK contestants included Camilla Sarah Tomlinson also known as Millie Tomlinson . Millie studied at Yale University (USA) from 2010 till 2013 and even played Inter College matches against Anaka and is presently not enrolled in any university in UK. A quote dated 24th Feb 2014 states ‘In the top spot, senior Millie Tomlinson avenged her regular season defeat to Penn No. 1 Anaka Alankamony, defeating her in four games (11-4,11-9,2-11,11-5). The CAP (Championship Adjunction Committee) constituted by the WSF with 2 Chennai based officials M Maniam and Rajiv R were well aware of the status of both the rejected players Anaka and Ramit but cleared Millie for participation when all 3 are in the same situation ! According to the FISU/WSF these rules only applied to the foreign players the Indian contingent, which would have constituted of Ramit Tandon (Colombia ) Aditya Jagtap (Cornell) Karan Mallik (Trinity) and Anaka A (U Pen) and probably Saumya Karki (Harvard) or Aprajitha who was already in the Team and these players could have insured India a place in the top 3. 

The 2nd bias against the Indians was that Olga Ertlova (Czech Republic) , the 1st seed turned 28 on the 10th of January 2014 was cleared to participate despite the AIU rule ‘ Only students who are less than 28 years of age on first July of the academic year in which the tournament is held can participate’. Olga probably benefitted from the FISU rule that states ‘be at least 17 and less than 28 years of age on January 1st in the year of the event” which is only applicable to foreigners!
In an answer to a protest Zena Woolridge, the FISU Technical Delegate explained that India followed its own rules and thus debarred their players studying abroad but did not reply to many other discrepancies and Ravi Dixit’s non eligibility. Incidentally the players who won and did well like Millie who won the individual women’s title and helped Great Britain to come 2nd in the team championship and Olga Ertlova, runner up in the woman’s were both in eligible to participate under Indian rules !

In total contrast to the above, the TNSRA controlled SRFI fielded Ravi Dixit. Ravi is not a bona fide student as he is domiciled in Chennai for the past 8 years and cannot prove even half of the 75% minimum attendance ascribed to a regular student of a govt recognized college in Dhampur (UP), 2300 kms away from Chennai. Surprisingly this major violation was overlooked by SRFI/TNSRA, AIU and CAP while genuine Indian university players were debarred by the Eligibility Committee consisting of only Tamil Nadu officials!

Finally the belated release of the Squash WUC Handbook is evident as the SRFI/AIU had not even bothered to update the changes in the post of the AIU President, Vice President and the name of the new Sec. Gen Dr. Furqan Qamar is conspicuous by its omission.

The non adherence to any FISU/WSF rules, Indian New Sports Code deadlines and regulations show that the SRFI / TNSRA and AIU were not even aware of the conflicting rules and therefore took no action to bring them under consonance as mostly non TNSRA, USA based Indian players (men) were being victimized, the exception Anaka was not worrisome as the TNSRA thought they had enough substitutes in women namely Dipika Pallikal , Aprajitha B and Laksha R, but it was not to be .

Finally the Delhi High Court had a message for the squash players and Justice Endlaw commented that everyday players are challenging the selection process in court without any fear so he found it hard to believe that not one player had the courage to approach the judiciary and this was the reason that reselections were not ordered by the court !
'Upset' Dipika could pull out of Asian Games  - Article in PTI, New Delhi (12th Sept 2014)
  'Upset' Dipika could pull out of Asian Games

Upset with the "manipulative" Asian Games singles draw, India's top squash player Dipika Pallikal is "seriously considering" pulling out of the upcoming Incheon Games and possibly handing another setback to the country's medals tally.

Pallikal and her longtime teammate Joshana Chinappa are drawn to meet in the quarterfinals a month after winning India's first ever squash medal at the Commonwealth Games, where they bagged the gold in the women's doubles. According to the competition rules, two players belonging to the same country cannot be in the same half of the draw.

"It is disheartening to see the draw like this. Clearly the draw makers have not gone by the rules and put Joshana and I in the same quarter, let alone the half.

I have already written to our federation to appeal against the manipulated draw but I am yet to get a reply. I am surely going to think about pulling out if the draw is not set right," Pallikal told PTI after conducting an 'adidas master class' with the city's budding players here today.

The World No 12 further said: "It (the draw) robs India of a chance of getting two medals in the women's singles. It can't be a coincidence that the draw has been manipulated for three Asian Games in a row to assure India a medal. It is a wrong approach. Both Joshana and I are capable of winning medals."
President bestows controversy-marred Arjuna awards

Aug 29, 2014, 07.03PM IST PTI

NEW DELHI: Mired in selection controversies and devoid of a Khel Ratna for the first time in 20 years, the National Sports Awards were on Friday presented by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in a ceremony which was severely short on star power. 

Like the past editions, selection controversies cast a shadow on the ceremony and matters came to a head when boxer Manoj Kumar dragged the Sports Ministry to court after being overlooked for the Arjuna award despite qualifying in the new points system. 

Add to this, the awards selection committee did not find any athlete worthy of the country's highest sporting honour -- the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna -- this year. 

None of the seven candidates, whose names were forwarded to the committee, got the 12-member panel's nod, making it the first time since 1994 when no sportsperson was named for the top award. 

Controversies aside, the ceremony followed the long-standing traditions as awardees walked upto to receive their respective honours from the President amid resounding applause from the dignitaries present, including Vice President M Hamid Ansari and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. 

A notable absentee from the ceremony was cricketer R Ashwin. The off-spinner could not make it as he is currently on national duty in England in an ongoing ODI series. 

The others who were bestowed the honour were Akhilesh Varma (archery), Tintu Luka (athletics), H N Girisha (paralympics), V Diju (badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (basketball), Jai Bhagwan (boxing), Anirban Lahiri (golf), Mamta Pujari (kabaddi), Saji Thomas (rowing), Heena Sidhu (shooting), Anaka Alankamony (squash), Tom Joseph (volleyball), Renubala Chanu (weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (wrestling). 

Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awardees received statuettes, citations and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each. Recipients of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar were given trophies. 

The awards selection panel, headed by cricket legend Kapil Dev, included the likes of Anju Bobby George and Kunjarani Devi, two mediapersons and three government representatives, including Sports Authority of India Director General Jiji Thomson.

Picking 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Jai Bhagwan and ignoring the gold-medallist from the same event, Manoj Kumar, had led to a massive controversy ahead of the award. 20-year-old squash player Alankamony's inclusion in the list had also raised eyebrows.

Kumar, with 32 points, had maximum points amongst the boxers who applied for the honour and two more than Bhagwan.

Awards list:  

Arjuna award: Akhilesh Varma (Archery), Tintu Luka (Athletics), HN Girisha (Paralympics), V Diju (Badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (Basketball), Jai Bhagwan (Boxing), Ravichandran Ashwin (Cricket), Anirban Lahiri (Golf), Mamta Pujari (Kabaddi), Saji Thomas (Rowing), Heena Sidhu (Shooting), Anaka Alankamany (Squash), Tom Joseph (Volleyball), Renubala Chanu (Weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (Wrestling). 

Dronacharya award: Mahabir Prasad (Wrestling), N Lingappa (Athletics - Lifetime), G Manoharan (Boxing - Lifetime), Gurcharan Singh Gogi (Judo - Lifetime), Jose Jacob (Rowing - Lifetime). 

Dhyan Chand award: Gurmail Singh (Hockey), K P Thakkar (Swimming - Diving), Zeeshan Ali (Tennis). 

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: 1. Employment of sports persons and sports welfare measures Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), 2. Community Sports - identification and nurturing of budding /young talent Jindal Steel Works (JSW), 3. Establishment and Management of sports academies of excellence Guru Hanuman Akhara, Delhi, 4. Other forms of sports activities not covered in the four categories mentioned in the schemes Child Link Foundation of India (Magic Bus).

IOA Secy Gen trains gun on Prez on Asian Games bid issue (Article in PTI & Economic times , India :  Jun 19, 2014
NEW DELHI: The infighting within the Indian Olympic Association has intensified with its secretary general Rajeev Mehta today saying that IOA president N Ramachandran will be solely responsible if the country fails to submit its bid to host the 2019 Asian Games.

In an e-mail to Ramachandran today, Mehta claimed that he had received 85 per cent positive response from the National Sports Federations (NSFs) on the issue of bidding for the 2019 Asian Games.

"I had given a press statement in May 2014 that IOA should bid for 2019 Asian Games. Subsequently you had given statements that this was my personal view and such decisions have to be discussed and approved by the General house of IOA," he wrote in the e-mail.

"I actually had given my statement after sensing the sentiments of the members. But now to convince you, I had written to all members of IOA to give their consent or denial. I am happy to inform you that till now we have received yes from 85 per cent member votes and the balance 15 per cent members have not replied but no one has said no," Mehta said.

Mehta also pointed out that the Squash Rackets Federation of India and Indian Triathlon Federation, the bodies where Ramachandran enjoys a clout, were yet to reply on this matter.

"It is surprising to note that your federation squash had not yet replied and also the Triathlon, again controlled by you, has not replied," he said.

"I now hope that you will submit the bid for 2009 Asian Games by or before July 1, 2014 and will not let the IOA, its members and the sport loving people of the country down. Kindly note that we will now hold you solely responsible in case the IOA does not submit the bid," Mehta said.
Letter to Garner Asian Games Bid Support or Show of Strength?
  By Express News Service : 17th June 2014

CHENNAI: What seemed to be an internal fight between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president N Ramachandran and secretary general Rajeev Mehta has turned into a tussle for supremacy.

Mehta, in an interesting move, has asked all the national federations and state Olympic units to express their opinion on bidding for the 2019 Asian Games. He said since there is very little time until July 1 to present the bid, it would be convenient if the units and federations replied to his mail supporting or rejecting the bid.

“Since we do not have sufficient time to call a meeting of General House to take the approval/consent for submitting a bid for the hosting of these Games, I am requesting all members vide this e-mail to give their consent by e-mail either in favour of submitting a bid for the hosting of the 2019 Asian Games or against,” Mehta wrote.

This, interestingly, is seen by many as a show of strength by Mehta. Mehta’s comment that India is ready to host the continental mega event was refuted by his own president. Also, recently the IOA president went to meet the sports minister Srabananda Sonwal with senior vice-president Virender Nanavati and some national federation officials but completely ignored Mehta, IOA treasurer, and veteran sports administrator Anil Khanna.

Khanna too was displeased with the way the IOA president had agreed to AIBA’s demand to give recognition to Boxing India without consulting the house. Khanna shot a letter to the IOA president and secretary saying: “There is lack of understanding on the legal status of this new organisation called Boxing India. I have strong views on this subject. I do not wish to express my views through this letter but would like to do so in the meeting of the Executive Council (EC).

“It is urgently requested that we have an emergent meeting of the EC and give due importance to the views of all the office bearers.

IOA Divided Over 2019 Asian Games Bid
By IANS : 16th June 2014

NEW DELHI: There are clear indications of the senior office-bearers of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) pulling in different directions even on a crucial issue like bidding for the 2019 Asian Games.

On Monday, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said he would ascertain the views of the IOA members through mail before deciding whether to bid for the Games or not.

This despite the fact IOA president N. Ramachandran did not show much interest in bidding for the Games, saying the IOA's main concern should be to make the organisation financially sound, reducing its dependence on government funds.

But Mehta shot off a letter to all IOA members seeking approval whether to bid for the Games since not much time left to call a General Body Meeting. The deadline for submitting bids for the 2019 Asian Games is July 1.

Asked whether there are any differences between him and the president over hosting the 2019 Asian Games, Mehta said it is the House which has to take a call.

"I cannot comment on any differences between the president and the secretary general. It is the house which has to take a decision. So I had sent a letter to all the members of the IOA seeking their consent over email to bid for the 2019 Asian Games," Mehta told IANS.
"There is no guarantee that the house will agree with me. It can be a no also. We have to wait for a week to get reply from all the members," he added.

Some IOA members are clearly upset with the way the senior office-bearers are squabbling over the 2019 Asian Games when they should be addressing issues of training and selection of the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games, which is hardly a month away, and the Asian Games in September.

In the last one week, the president and secretary general have spoken in different ways.

"Whatever the IOA decision, it is for the government to decide whether the country could afford a mega event when the economy is in a bad shape," a senior IOA member told IANS, not wanting to be identified.

The first signs of differences surfaced when Ramachandran decided to go and meet the new union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal taking along only the senior vice-president Virendra Nanavati and a couple of officials of the National Sports Federations (NSFs) close to him, ignoring secretary-general Rajeev Mehta and high-profile treasurer Anil Khanna.

Ramachnadran's move has clearly showed a clevage raising questions why he did not take Mehta and Khanna with him when the two were present in the capital.

"Ideally, an IOA delegation with all office-bearers and senior members should have met the sports minister to discuss the various confronting the Olympic movement in the country, and, even if it a courtesy call, he should have presented a unified delegation before the minister," another member, associated with the sports movement for over four decades, told IANS.

Secretary general of a national sports federation was angry that the IOA is not showing any interest in the two upcoming major games and are busy in their turf wars.

"The Commonwealth games are not even a month away and so far the kitting of the contingent has not been done. No one knows how the athletes are going to be measured for their trousers, shirts and blazers, it can't be done overnight," said the official of long standing.
India in 2007 lost the bid for hosting this year's Asian Games to Incheon, South Korea. The 2019 Asian Games were originally awarded to Vietnam, who earlier this year pulled out as the hosts, citing financial constraints.

Indonesia also offered to host the Games. In fact, in November 2012, the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi beat Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city, in the race to host the Asian Games.
Infighting in IOA, secretary general questions president on boxing issue

PTI | Jun 14, 2014, 06.13 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Infighting has broken out in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) with its secretary general Rajeev Mehta questioning his president N Ramachandran over the recognition of a new boxing association without consulting the executive.

In a letter to Ramachandran, the IOA secretary general asked why he had agreed to Amateur International Boxing Association's (AIBA) decision to provisionally recognise 'Boxing India' as the National Sports Federation.

The AIBA (World Boxing Federation) had recently handed provisional recognition to 'Boxing India' -- the brainchild of two private business houses -- after the world body derecognised Indian Boxing Federation on the ground of possible manipulation of its 2012 elections.

The AIBA had stated in its communication to the IOA that Ramachandran had given approval to its move.

Attempts to reach Ramachandran to get his reaction did not fructify. Calls to his mobile phone were unanswered.

In the strongly-worded, Mehta said that the IOA president has no power under rules to give the approval. He also said that the IOA should shut shop if it was to give power of recognition of an NSF to an international federation (AIBA in this case).

"... during our teleconversation on this subject and various emails from AIBA and press statements confirming that you have given your approval to AIBA during your meeting with them in Lausanne. You on my questioning flatly denied having given any such approval for Boxing India in Lausanne," Mehta said in the letter dated June 4.

"There is no power with president/secretary general/treasurer to recognise any federation. The power lies with General Assembly (of the IOA). This may be noted strictly and we should not be seen in violation of our own statutes," he said in the letter with copies marked to all IOA Executive Committee members.

"By giving authority to international federations to directly recognise NSFs in India -- then IOA should shut down its office. This is the responsibility of NOC (National Olympic Committee) and not of the international federation."

Just after the AIBA granted provisional recognition to 'Boxing India', Mehta had said that the world boxing body had not consulted the IOA and the move was not in consonance with International Olympic Committee rules.

Mehta also contended that the AIBA violated its own statutes while granting recognition to 'Boxing India'.

"As per the statutes of AIBA in rule 10.1(B), AIBA cannot recommend any National Sports Federation for recognition until that NSF has an approval of NOC/GOI/Sports Council of that country. Here AIBA is in violation of its own statutes and we should raise questions with AIBA.

"To use the name INDIA, it is mandatory to have NOC (No Objection Certificate) from Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Ministry of Commerce. Hence, without NOC we cannot allow the use of name INDIA and should respect our law Law of Land."

In an earlier letter written on May 21, Mehta had also asked Ramachandran to sort out the matter with the AIBA.

"The AIBA has stated in their e-mail dated 19 May, 2014 that the President of Indian Olympic Association has fully agreed with the AIBA President that IOA would accept the organisation selected by the AIBA without any condition.

"You have confirmed that you have not given any commitment to AIBA. I request you to kindly speak to AIBA and apprise about the stand of IOA to sort out the matter at the earliest," Mehta said.

The IOA is also yet to form a common view on the issue of India's possible bid for the 2019 Asian Games after Vietnam capital Hanoi withdrew its hosting rights in April.

Mehta had said that the IOA would want to bid for the Games while Ramachandran was non-committal. Reports have quoted Sonowal as having said that the government would support such a bid but would wait for a presentation from the IOA.

Pakistan seeded second in Asian Sr Team Squash : 03 June 2014
  The Nation – Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD: Defending Asian Senior Team Squash champions Pakistan are the second seeds in the 17th Asian Team Championship starting from June 11 in Hong Kong.

It was quite a surprising draw announced by the Asian Squash Federation (ASF), as Pakistan is No 2 seed while India, who just have one player Saurav Ghosal of international ranking, were placed as top seeds, which is quite surprising for everyone, as Malaysians have a number of international players, but they were given third seed and hosts were placed at No 4. Indians took the liberty just because of ASF president Ramachandran, who is an Indian, otherwise, Indians don’t deserve to be ranked in top 4.

Pakistan female team is placed at No 7 out of 10 participating countries while Malaysian girls are hot favorites to lift the female title. Pakistan’s preparations for the mega event look a bit off the track, as No 1 player Nasir Iqbal is struggling with fitness problems and carrying injury. His recent performances speak volumes and put a very serious question mark on his form.

When this scribe visited Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex on Monday and talked with PSF secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz regarding Pakistan’s chances in the event, he said: “Although Nasir is struggling due to a number of reasons even then we have a very balanced side. Our No 2 Farhan Mehboob is a world class and proven material so is Farhan Zaman, who has recently won the PSA events abroad. Danish is also a great fighter, even if Nasir fails to provide winning start, we will have the back up in place, who can win ties for the country.”

When asked about seeding system, Amir said: “Seeding are done as per the PSA rankings and it is the Asian Squash Federation which releases ratings. We are just concentrating on winning each and every match which comes in our way. Jamshed has done a remarkable job for the last few months and we have spent millions of rupees on players both male and females. This was for the first time in the history of Pakistan squash that such a long training camp was established for both male and female players and that too under head coach. Now it is players’ turn to pay back and help the country in retaining the title. I am quite hopeful about the chances of our female players as well. We have likes of Maria Toor, Muqaddas Ashraf, Sammer Anjum and others so I am confident they will perform and win glory for the country.”

“We have provided world class facilities to our players during the camp for which, I am very grateful to PSF president Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, who is always very kind. He never objects whatever we demand from him. He has assured us his full cooperation but he just wants players to play their best and leave the rest,” Amir concluded.

Sharing his views, head coach Jamshed Gul said: I don’t mind Pakistan team is placed as No 2 seeds but the thing that matters for me is the performance. I have worked very hard with the team along with Faheem Gul and we expect good results from them. I agree Malaysia, Hong Kong and even Indians are working very hard and they have improved a lot since the last championship. They have best available infrastructure and their players have been focusing fully on playing.”

“Government must come forward and help the federation. We need hefty amount of funds to completely turn our fortunes. We have a number of plans, but to achieve all these goals, we need government and corporate sector’s support. If provided with sufficient amount of funds and a latest equipped academy, it is my promise I will produce a number of champions in next five years who will help the country in regaining its lost squash glory,” Jamshed concluded.
Boxing India using money to get power: Narinder Batra

Article in Zee News and TOI : May 28, 2014

New Delhi: Launching a scathing attack on the newly-approved `Boxing India`, secretary general of Hockey India, Narinder Batra, today accused the ad-hoc association of using money to get power which will have an adverse effect on Indian sport.

The chairman of long-time Indian boxing sponsor Monnet Ispat Limited, Sandeep Jajodia, and owner of India`s World Series of Boxing franchise, Udit Sheth are part of the consortium which has got the International Boxing Association`s (AIBA) nod for provisional representation and is most likely to get formal approval as well. Batra is concerned that the move might set a wrong precedent.

"It is rumoured and trust me there is no smoke without fire, that a big amount has been given to the international federation to formally approve Boxing India as a registered boxing association. I have grave concern because it will directly have a bearing on all the sports bodies in the future," Batra told PTI.

"The reason behind it is that two business houses are working together to form a federation and that itself is questionable. If business houses sponsor a sport, it`s fine but displaying this kind of money power to buy and sell federations is a wrong step for Indian sport," added Batra.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president N Ramachandran has backed the new Boxing India and Batra is not at all impressed.

"Not only the government, but our IOA president should also take the issue very seriously. According to our sources, he had gone to Lausanne to settle this matter a month back. He met the AIBA chief Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu and his only aim is to bring squash in the Olympic fold. But he should not sacrifice Indian sports for his vested interests," said Batra.

"President saab if you don`t have the spine then please don`t spoil Indian sports. Don`t ruin Indian sports under IOC and OCA pressure."

It was on March 3 that the AIBA Executive Committee decided to terminate India "due to serious violations of the AIBA Statutes and Bylaws".

Following the termination, it was decided to establish a new national federation in India with the right group of people who would support the principles of AIBA in terms of ethics and fairness. Batra, though, opined that rules have been flouted and urged the new government to take serious note of the matter.

"A new government has taken office and I would like to urge the new sports minister through this statement of mine that he should take this issue very seriously and should stop this system of buying and selling in sports," he said.

Transstadia, who is also part of the new Boxing India, owned the World Series Boxing (WSB) franchise of Mumbai Fighters till 2012 before losses forced them to back off. Batra stressed that the move to approve the new federation is a way out to balance the losses.

"Now this new Boxing India association that has been formed and is close to being legalised by the International federation is probably an outcome of the losses that that were incurred during an international boxing league.

"The people who are in charge of this league have been handed the federation as a gift by AIBA to make up for their losses while staging the international league. Is India a guinea pig which will be run by a federation?," asked an angry Batra.

Indian boxers were barred from taking part in international events last year and to make sure thay they didn`t suffer any more, Ramachandran had appointed the ad-hoc body. But Batra insisted the association is a body of lies.

"They have not even taken an NOC by the government to use the word India and Boxing India is already on the table. Why have you made an Olympic association if the international bodies have to recognise the federation. They `care two hoots` for the athletes because they don`t give them profit," concluded Batra. 

Source :

ASF award for Saurav Ghosal, Indian team: 24/4/2014
  The Asian Squash Federation named Saurav Ghosal for the Dato Alex Lee Award after the Indian champion was adjudged Outstanding Asian Men's Player of the Year 2013.

Ghosal's ranked No.1 in the Indian men's team at the World championships in 2013 and steered the team to the seventh position. He was a quarter-finalist at the World Open; and highest ranked Asian male at No.15.

The Indian men's team comprising Ghosal, Harinderpal Sandhu, Ramit Tandon, Mahesh Mangaonkar along with coaches Cyrus Poncha and Gautam Das, were also chosen for the 'Outstanding Men's Team of the Year 2013' award.

The Indian team attained their best ever position of seventh (the best by an Asian country) at the World Championships held in France.

The presentation ceremony of the awards will be conducted June 15, the penultimate day of the Asian Team Championships in Hong Kong.
Manek Mathur and Steve Scharff Capture U. S. National Doubles Title : by Rob Dinerman
  Dateline March 23rd --- Trailing two games to love and later 10-4 in the fourth Saturday in their semifinal match against Graham Bassett and Preston Quick, Manek Mathur and Steve Scharff embarked on an 11-3 run to rescue that game 15-13 and never looked back, taking the fifth 15-7 and then convincingly out-playing and out-thinking top seeds Michael Ferreira and Whitten Morris 15-12 15-13 11-15 15-6 this afternoon in the final round of the 79th edition of the U. S. National Doubles Championship before an admiring crowd at the Racquet & Tennis Club in mid-town Manhattan.

Morris and Ferreira play at a scorching pace that in recent months has enabled them to barge through the William White field without dropping a game and, more impressively, to advance to the semis of the SDA pro tour stop at Heights Casino just four weeks ago, defeating Bernardo Samper /Phil Barker and U. S. Open finalists Imran Khan and Mark Chaloner in the process. They overpowered SDA superstar Ben Gould and nine-time U. S. National Doubles champion Morris Clothier in four games in the semis of this tournament, displaying their characteristic amazing court coverage and withering heat, and the pre-final expectation among most doubles aficionados was that they would duplicate this success in today’s final, especially in view of how wearing, both physically and emotionally, the bottom-half semifinal had been.

Wary of Mathur’s outstanding weaponry, they focused the lion’s share of their attack on Scharff, just as Bassett and Quick had done one round earlier --- and just as Scharff had done in that semifinal, he avoided getting into high-paced exchanges, opting instead for responding lobs that increasingly frustrated his opponents, forcing them either to over-hit the ball (thereby allowing Mathur, the MVP by far of the entire 29-team tournament, to impose his multi-front brilliance on the action) or to aim too low, with metallic results.

As the match wore on, particularly after Mathur/Scharff came away with airtight wins in the first two games (the second on an impetuous Ferreira tin at 13-14 after a brief tension-building delay while a new ball was warmed up), it became apparent that Ferreira and Morris, for all their athleticism and talent, had no Plan B, no alternative approach to move to once it became apparent that Scharff could handle their onslaught. By early in the fourth, when Scharff’s growing confidence resulted in his deftly sprinkling some corner winners amidst the lobbing, Ferreira and Morris had effectively punched themselves out, while Mathur and Scharff were increasingly exerting control, even to the extent of twice having mis-hits trickle to the front for winners, in each case just as Ferreira and Morris seemed on the verge of mounting a comeback.

When Mathur crushed a winner down the middle to make the score 12-6, Morris and Ferreira, whose fiery competitiveness has fueled so many of their victories over the years (including a slew of Silver Racquet crowns earned in this very venue), had reached their limit, and they capitulated with three consecutive match-ending early-point tins, the last of which, on a despairing Ferreira serve-return, capped off the Mathur/Scharff title run in their first-ever foray as partners and gave Scharff, the reigning U. S. Mixed Doubles champion with Natalie Grainger, a nice companion-piece to the U. S. Century title he had won with Sandy Tierney four weeks ago.
Ramy Ashour Wins Second World Series Finals Title : 20 March 2014
  Egypt's world No3 Ramy Ashour celebrated his 50th appearance in a PSA World Tour final in sensational style, beating compatriot Mohamed Elshorbagy in an electrifying climax of the Power Courts World Series Finals in Richmond, Virginia, to claim the flagship title for a second time.

Ashour, champion in 2007, came through 15-17, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 in a titanic 63-minute tussle which was full to the brim of thrilling rallies which delighted the crowd at the prestigious Westwood Club.

It was the first time that two Egyptians have met in the final of the PSA World Series title decider and Cairo-based Ashour, whose past four months have been injury plagued, said he was privileged to take on his Alexandrian compatriot with the title on the line.
The other brother  : Article in  Telegraph


If BCCI chief N. Srinivasan rules cricket, his brother N. Ramachandran rules the rest of Indian sport. V. Kumara Swamy profiles the longtime sporting czar who was recently elected president of the Indian Olympic Association.

The elder brother played tennis; the younger one liked squash. The former N. Srinivasan rules cricket. And the latter N. Ramachandran is in charge of other sports.

Ramachandran was in his teens when he started playing squash at the Madras Cricket Club. He was a state-level player for almost three decades, but his friends haven't seen him wield a racquet for many years now. But the 65-year-old sports lover with his rimless glasses has been holding the reins of the squash administration for almost two decades.

So it didn't come as a surprise when "Rami" as his friends call him was recently elected, unopposed, president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the 85-year old organisation that has been mired in controversy after the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"Ramachandran has been an able administrator of squash and he has also worked with the IOA in various capacities for many years now. He will make a good president. The fact that India has been re-admitted into the IOC soon after his elevation is a good omen," says Randhir Singh, former IOA secretary-general and member of the International Olympic Council (IOC).

Soft-spoken Ramachandran, who like his brother wears his religion on his forehead (marked by a red streak of vermilion), has been seen by many as a "proxy candidate" of Abhay Singh Chautala, who had to resign as IOA president after the IOC de-recognised the Indian body. But those who know Ramachandran say that he is certainly not a puppet.

"Chautala is in for a shock if he thinks that Ramachandran will toe his line. If Chautala has any doubts, he has to attend a meeting of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI). People are too scared to even look him in the eye," an IOA member in Delhi says. Ramachandran, who is also the world squash federation (WSF) president, attends SRFI meetings in his capacity as the head of the Tamilnadu Squash Rackets Association (TSRA), but is said to have the last word on almost every decision.

His peers at the international level praise him for his contribution to squash. "Rami has been a great leader of the WSF and world squash. The campaign he led to get squash into the Olympics was exemplary," WSF patron Prince Tunku Imran, son of the king of Malaysia, says.

Ramachandran has virtually followed his brother in rising through the ranks of national sports organisations. Like his brother, who is now the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) but was once its treasurer, Ramachandran was also the treasurer of IOA. His family too is in sports management. His wife, Surekha, is the president of the Indian Triathlon Federation, while son T.R. Narayanaswamy is its vice-president (as is Ramachandran). His daughter, Babli, who has Down Syndrome, is a Bharatanatyam dancer.

The brothers are arguably the most powerful duo in the world of Indian sports. Srinivasan is the head of the most powerful cricket body in the country (some say of the world), while Ramachandran controls every other important game.

"Ramachandran now controls 90 per cent of all sports in the country and Srinivasan controls 90 per cent of the money in sports in India," says Rahul Kumar, a former squash player and a longtime critic of Ramachandran.

Son of a business entrepreneur, T.S Narayanaswami Iyer, Ramachandran, like his brother, steers clear of publicity. The brothers are said to be not on the best of terms and chose their own ways after Ramachandran resigned as the executive director of the family concern, India Cements Ltd, in 2009, after selling his stake to his brother.

The Rs 4,000-crore company, the largest cement maker in south India, is an active sponsor of several clubs and tournaments in Chennai. It was the main sponsor of a squash academy in Chennai, now called the Indian Squash Academy, where many players were trained.

The camp against Ramachandran accuses him of harbouring a regional bias. Kumar believes that he has "single-handedly destroyed squash in north India" by promoting the Chennai academy. "You have to represent Tamil Nadu if you want to make it to the Indian team. Several talented youngsters have fallen by the wayside," Kumar says.

A supporter of Ramachandran, on the other hand, claims that he actually destroyed a "coterie" in Delhi and Mumbai that controlled squash. "He has made squash accessible to everybody," the SRFI member says.

But Kumar is not convinced. He, along with several others, has filed cases against Ramachandran alleging conflict of interest and manipulation in the selection of players. Several cases are slated to come up shortly. This includes one related to the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar which was given to him by the government in 2011. The petition alleges that he fell short of many requirements that the award stipulates.

Brigadier (retired) Raj Manchanda, a six-time national champion who earlier worked as a government observer of the game, says that he can't recall a single occasion when he didn't provide an adverse report against the activities of the SRFI.

"From controlling coaches to disaffiliating associations that were opposed to him to harassing players who didn't want to toe the SRFI line, he did everything. There were even manipulations in the draws of tournaments," Manchanda alleges.

Kumar holds that Ramachandran has even broken the rules of the IOA. According to Clause XXVIII(c) of the Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of Indian Olympic Association, no office-bearer of a sports association in a state can be a member of another state sports body. Ramachandran, however, continues to head both the Tamilnadu Cycling Association and the TSRA.

Ramachandran's office didn't respond to the allegations.

Saurav Ghosal, India's highest ranked men's player and world No. 18, agrees that under his stewardship, Chennai has got world-class facilities for squash. He adds that Ramachandran could have been more proactive in helping more academies come up. "But it is not an ideal world," Ghosal, who has known Ramachandran for the last 10 years, adds.

"He is very clear on what he wants and listens to a 'core' group which is close to him. However, he sticks to the decisions he makes and will not yield easily when he makes up his mind," Ghosal stresses.

Meanwhile, Clean Sports India, an organisation of former Indian Olympians, has shot off a letter to the IOC asking it to look into the charges against Ramachandran. "Let them probe the allegations and take a decision," athlete Ashwini Nachappa, president of the organisation, says.

Members of the Chennai squash fraternity are wary of saying anything about Ramachandran. His favourite line when he addresses players apparently is: "Players are temporary, but the federation is there forever."

Some players' parents say that he can be more formidable than his brother. "It is not the money but the power the brothers enjoy," a parent says. "They want to be the kingpins of sports."

Kingpins they already are. Whether they will be the kings of sports remains to be seen.

India may hoist tricolour at Sochi closing ceremony: IOA chief Ramachandran : 9th Feb 2014

N. Ramachandran, the newly elected Indian Olympic Association president has his task cut out -- his first challenge is to get India back into the Olympic movement and his wish is to see that Indian flag is hoisted at the Sochi Winter Olympics' closing ceremony.

"My first challenge is to see that the ban is lifted from us and I wish and pray that Indian tricolour at the closing ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics," Ramachandran told Headlines Today in an exclusive interview immediately after his election.

Ramachandran was elected on Sunday in the IOA president unopposed along with Rajeev Bhatia as its secretary general, Virender Nanavati chosen as senior vice president and Anil Khanna the treasurer.

Ramachandran though chose not to react when asked to react on court case coming up against him in Delhi High Court. "No comments" was his answer. 

Elections were held for the post of vice presidents and executive as 8 out of 9 candidates were chosen.

Akhilesh Das Gupta (Badminton Association of India), Anurag Thakur (Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association), B.P. Baishya (Indian Weightlifting Federation),G.S. Mandher (Wrestling Federation of India) Janardhan Singh Gehlot (Rajasthan Olympic Association), Parminder Singh Dhindsa (Cycling Federation of India) R.K. Anand (Jharkhand Association of India) and Tarlochan Singh (Archery Association of India).

Source :

Cases against Ramachandran may put IOA in big trouble : New Delhi, February 7, 2014

Some serious case of alleged misleading, forgery and manipulation are coming up against Indian Association of India president elect N Ramachandran (brother of BCCI president N Srinivasan) that may put his position untenable and may put IOA into a fix thereby threatening a further ban on India's Olympic movement by IOC.

As many as 3 cases, one already in the Delhi High Court and two more cases (not Court cases as yet) are coming up against Ramachandran very shortly.

While the first case is of allegedly misleading the Indian government to get a National Award in 2011 and is coming up for hearing in Delhi High Court on February 21.

The PIL against him in this case says N Ramchandran misled the Indian government in getting Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Purashkar (RKPP) in 2011 by the President of India. It alleges that he had misled the Sports Ministry by not fulfilling any of the 16 clauses needed to get the award. The PIL is aimed at revocation of the award.

Second case -- that of alleged Conflict of Interest -- may put him in clear trouble and also the IOA if elected unopposed as president on Feb 9th. This case is likely to come up once he is elected the IOA President.

In this case of conflict of interest, Ramachandran has violated the International Olympic Committee's Code of Ethics. Ramachandran had given an undertaking to World Squash Federation in 2012 that he had no commercial interest in the game and designated himself just as patron of Squash and Racquet Federation of India while in reality, he was at that time and even now, the president of the SRFI.

He also did not mention that he was/is the president of Tamil Nadu Squash & Racquet Federation of India.

Most importantly, the IOC code of conduct prohibits any candidate to contest election if he has any conflict of interest in the conduct of the federation or association.

Though Ramachandran had mentioned that he has no financial interest in the game of squash, the agreement (documents of which are in possession of Headlines Today) between Tamil Nadu Rackets Association and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu dated April 22, 2002; says in point 7 (iii) The TNSRA shall be free to initiate steps to ensure commercial viability, fixation of membership, one time charges etc without compromising intent and purpose of this arrangement.

The third case pertains to case of alleged forgery with documents that prohibited Deepkia Pallikal from contesting a tournament. The case may come up again in Delhi High Court.

Ramachandran had told Headlines Today that the case had been dismissed by the High Court earlier but new and fresh facts have emerged in this case.

SRFI misguided the Sports Ministry with alleged forged documents before the Delhi High Court and subsequently in Supreme Court in 2008 to keep top squash player Deepika Pallikal out of the contingent list due to their personal dislikes for her.

Headlines Today has a copy of the original document of Long Term Development Plan (LTDP) under CWG dated February 2008 sent by the SRFI to the Sports Ministry and also the forged documents dated May 2008 which suddenly had the rules and regulations which didn't allow Pallikal to compete.


  Leander Paes and Pullela Gopichand were selected for the prestigious Padma Bhushan awards, while Yuvraj Singh was among the seven sportspersons chosen for this year’s Padma Shri award.

Dipika Pallikal, former Indian women’s cricket captain Anjum Chopra, Sunil Dabas (Kabaddi), Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu (Mountaineering), H. Boniface Prabhu (Wheelchair Tennis) and Mamta Sodha (Mountaineering) were the other sports persons, selected for this year’s Padma Shri awards.

Dipika recently became the first Indian to enter the top 10 in the WSA rankings, the official women’s squash world rankings. She is engaged to Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik.



A natural athlete, Dipika Pallikal took a liking to squash at the age of nine after which there was no looking back for this girl from Chennai. Determined to make it big with support from her mother Susan,  she left the comforts of her home at the age of 14 to train in Egypt under world renowned  coach Amir Wagh. 

Dipika excelled under his guidance and in a matter of four years went on to win nine open titles and several other national tournaments thereby firmly establishing herself in the junior circuit. It was only a matter of time before she became the number 1 player in the under 19 category and received a nomination for the “Young Player of the Year” award at the World Squash Awards, 2009 for her exceptional achievements. 

Dipika didn’t lose her excellent touch as she moved on to the senior circuit and walked away with the WISPA Indian Challenger No. 5 and the Nepal Open titles in 2010. The same year, she was also a part of the women’s team which secured a bronze medal at the Asian Games.  She became the 1st Indian to reach World No.1 in Junior Under – 19 Rankings.

2011 was the a great year for this young squash player when she claimed three prestigious WISPA titles – Orange County Open (California), Dread Sports Series Tournament (Washington) and Crocodile Challenge Cup (Hong Kong) and advanced into the top 20 in world rankings. 

She was also the 1st Indian to reach Quarter Finals in a World Open Championship – 2011.

In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the L’Oreal Femina Best Sportsperson and the NDTV 24/7 Rockstar best sportswoman awards of 2011

2012 (Arjuna Award)
SHE  scaled new heights in the year 2012 and reached the finals of the Tournament of Champions New York (Silver event) and the semi finals of the Australian Open (Gold event), becoming the only Indian to achieve such remarkable feats. 

She later helped India clinch a gold medal and its maiden women’s title at the Senior Asian Team Squash Tournament held in Kuwait in May 2012.  She also became the 1st Indian to reach top-10 in the World in 2012.

However, the crowning glory for Dipika came when the Indian Government acknowledging her consistent string of remarkable performances, presented her with the Arjuna Award the 1st player to get it at the young age of 20.

In 2013, she displayed great tenacity in the Meadowood Pharmacy Open (Canada) to set up a final against the second seeded Joey Chan and won the contest in straight games taking her total WSA title’s tally to six. Currently training under her coach Sarah Fitz-Gerald (former world number squash player) Dipika aspires to carve a formidable image for India in the international arena by becoming the number 1 squash player in the world.2014 (Padma Shri Award)

Dipika Pallikal gets Padma Shri Award (2nd squash player after Bhubneshwari Kumari) on the republic day 26th Janaury 2014.


Joined the campaign initiated by the Election Commission to spread awareness and encourage eligible voters to enrol during the Summary Revision and exercise their right to vote.

Honoured with the India Today Woman in Sports award, 2013.

Featured in Femina magazine’s list of the 10 most Beautiful Women and the People’s magazine’s list of the 40 most Beautiful Women, of 2013.

Forerunner in the campaign to include squash in Olympic 2020.

Invited by ITC Classmate to deliver a talk at the Ryan International School where the suave athlete, who is pursuing a degree in English Literature, while emphasizing on the importance of formal education, advised the 5000 odd young listeners, to follow their dreams no matter how unconventional their career choices were.