HC revokes conferment of sports
prize to IOA President
Article in PTI News
New Delhi, Aug 31 (PTI) The
Delhi High Court today revoked the conferment of
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar (RKPP) 2011 to Indian
Olympic Association President N Ramachandran, saying it
was finalised without "proper inquiry and application of
The Ministry of Youth Affairs
and Sports had instituted the RKPP in 2009 for
contribution to sports by individuals, corporates or
institutions. Ramachandran was awarded RKPP award in the
category of "Establishment and Management of sports
academies of excellence."
"This court therefore holds that
the award of Puraskar to the fifth Respondent
(Ramachandran) was finalised without a proper inquiry
and proper application of mind, no attempt to verify the
claims of achievement of the fifth Respondent were
seriously made. The said decision, based on the
Selection Committee's recommendation, is therefore
unsupportable in law," a bench comprising justices
Ravindra Bhat and R K Gauba said.
It said the manner in which the
whole selection took place, with respect to Ramachandran
not only reveals a "casual and uncritical acceptance of
whatever was and offered by the applicant, but also
exemplifies what is wrong in such matters in Indian
"Sportspersons and where they
function and the general public they entertain, are a
world apart, it so seems from the world of sports
administrators! This disconnect is deeply thrown up in
sharp relief in the facts of the present case where
regardless of the facility which was claimed to have
been developed, the ultimate user, i.e. the squash
players/ coach etc. had no voice in the selection of
Puraskar or its awarding," the bench said.
The bench directed the sports
ministry, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Sports
Development Authority of Tamil Nadufirst to pass
consequential orders, revoking the grant of Puraskar to
the Ramachandran, within four weeks from today.
It also asked Ministry of Youth
Affairs and Sports to include eminent sportspersons in
the selection committee of RKPP for 2016.
"This Court holds that ? first,
the exclusion of eminent sportspersons from the
Selection Committee of the Puraskar was without any
basis; and directs the first Respondent to make
appropriate provisions for the same in the Scheme of the
Puraskar for 2016," the bench said in its verdict on a
plea filed by one Tatpal Singh Jaggi who challenged the
conferment of the award to Ramachandran.
"Tushar Shahani, the star of Khar Gymkhana
Squash Academy has been sponsored by Mahindra
Sona Ltd. The sponsorship covers his travel and
hotel expenses for all his tournament
participation till the end of this financial
Tushar is the reigning national champion and world
No-7 in Boys Under-15 age group. He will remain in
this age group till March 2016. However, he is
participating in Boys Under-17 to get better match
practice. In this age group too, he is in the top 8
ranks in the country!
We hope this sponsorships helps him attain more glory!"
Squash A Mile 2015 is an initiative of Rhea & Rohaan
Advani, Sireena Divecha & Riddhi Sampat to help cancer
patients who cannot afford its treatment. The squash
community in Mumbai will come together to show its
concern and care at a fun-filled event that involves
giving. This year as in the previous years, the proceeds
from Squash-A-Mile will be given to V Care Foundation.
This year the event is on Sunday, 23rd August
2015 from 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. at the Bombay
Gymkhana Squash Courts.
For more information
please visit our Facebook page
The draw for the 2015 JSW Indian Squash Circuit NSCI
Open, PSA M15 & W15 tournaments has been released with
Adrian Waller due to head a supremely competitive Men’s
field when the tournament gets underway at the NSCI
Club, Mumbai on Thursday September 3.
is recognised as one of the fittest players on the PSA
World Tour, makes his debut on the Indian Circuit and is
looking to add to the four PSA World Tour titles that he
has achieved thus far in his career.
Englishman might need to get past Raphael Kandra if he
is to take the crown with the German named as the number
two seed. Kandra is the form player heading into the
event having already won a trio of titles in 2015 and is
looking to earn back-to-back titles for the third time
in his career.
Seeded to meet Waller in the
semi-final is Tsz Fung Yip while on the other half of
the draw Mahesh Mangaonkar, the Indian No.2 who is
competing in his home-town, could spar against Kandra
for a place in the showpiece finale.
Champion Habiba Mohamed headlines the Women’s event as
she looks to continue her meteoric rise on the PSA World
Tour but will have to be wary of other highly-regarded
players such as Nicolette Fernandes and Joey Chan.
Mohamed could meet Chan at the semi-final stage if
both players perform to their seeding while Fernandes
has a path to the final that is fraught with danger as
she could face both Nouran El Torky and Joshana Chinappa
“We are delighted to have such a strong
line-up for the start of the Indian Circuit,” said
Tournament Promoter Raj Arora.
“There are no easy
matches for anyone in the draw and it should make for a
2015 Men’s JSW Indian Squash
Circuit NSCI Open – Main Draw  Adrian Waller (ENG)
v Peter Creed (WAL) Joel Hinds (ENG) v  Harinder
Pal Singh Sandhu (IND)  Mohamed Reda (EGY) v
[Qualifier] [Qualifier] v  Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) v [WC] Kush Kumar (IND)
Tom Ford (ENG) v  Jaymie Haycocks (ENG)  Ben
Coleman (ENG) v [Qualifier] [Qualifier] v  Raphael
2015 Women’s JSW Indian Squash
Circuit NSCI Open – Women’s Draw  Habiba Mohamed
(EGY) v [Qualifier] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) v  Laura
Pomportes (FRA)  Nadine Shahin (EGY) v [Qualifier]
[WC] Sachika Ingale (IND) v  Joey Chan (HKG) 
Joshana Chinappa (IND) v Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[Qualifier] v  Deon Saffery (WAL)  Nouran El
Torky (EGY) v Fiona Moverley (ENG) [Qualifier] v 
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
India’s top squash player and
talisman, Saurav Ghosal has set his sights on breaking
into the top 10 of the men’s singles rankings. Saurav
had reached a career-high ranking of No. 15 in December
2013 , so this is one target that is on the horizon.
The 2014 Asian Games gold
medallist recently conveyed his plans on the sidelines
of an exhibition match between Saurav and the World No.
2 Gregory Gaultier at the 222-year-old Calcutta Racket
The India No. 1 who has now
slipped to a ranking of 21 also revealed that he dreams
of winning an individual Commonwealth Games medal for
India in 2018.
“I am now ranked #21 in the
world. I would like to get back into top 20 and push
towards top 10. 2014 was a big year for me and 2018 is
another big year coming up. Hope I can win an individual
Commonwealth Games medal in 2018.”
Saurav Ghosal also expressed
disappointment on squash missing out on achieving the
status of an Olympic sport. The top Indian squash player
reasoned that squash deserved an opportunity to be a
part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Considering that we
have multiple Olympic medals for sports like rhythmic
gymnastics and synchronized swimming, it is a well
founded logic that bears consideration.
“It was a massive disappointment
and a travesty that squash could not make it to 2020
Olympics. We definitely deserve to showcase our sport.”
However, all is not lost for
squash. The sport can still harbour hopes of making it
to the quadrennial event. The new IOC president Thomas
Bach is planning to expand the 2020 Olympics programme
and this situation has presented the racquet sport a
Saurav explained that the
sport was given a feedback from the IOC. There is a
focus now on attempts to dress up the sport a bit more
and improve its overall quality. The World No. 21
remains optimistic and one will know IOC’s final
decision by middle of next year. Hopefully squash makes
it to the list! Future of Indian squash is bright
Talking about the Kolkata
exhibition, which is the first of its kind in India,
Saurav Ghosal said that he had been thinking about such
an event for a long time and he hopes that this will
inspire youngsters to take up squash.
“The idea is to basically get
someone of Greg’s stature so that the juniors can have a
front-up view of what it takes to be a champion. Hope
this is going to make lots of youngsters take up the
With India claiming the
women’s doubles Commonwealth Games gold and the Asian
Games men’s team gold last year, squash is on an upward
curve in India. Saurav Ghosal believes the future of
squash in the country is looking bright at the moment
and the next 4-5 years will see a surge in squash
“The future of squash here is a
lot better than before. Many juniors are coming in to
train. In the next 4-5 years there will be a
gravitational pull that will bring in many more
The Kolkata lad also saw an
improvement in the Bengal’s squash landscape.
“The scene here is much better
than when I started out. With me and Ramit Tandon
(coming back from the US in June this year), it is going
to be exciting.”
There’s no better country to
look at other than Egypt when it comes to squash. With
five of the current top 10 being Egyptians, the African
nation has established itself as a dominant force in the
sport. Former British Open winner Gregory Gaultier
pointed out that it is no wonder Egypt is doing so well.
“Squash is big in Egypt, right
after football. Even one of their presidents was a fan
of squash. Now there are even squash schools in Egypt,”
said the 32-year-old Frenchman.
Saurav also stressed on the
need to have more PSA events regularly in India which
will give the Indian players a chance to play at home.
In 2014, there were five PSA tournaments for the first
time. Ghosal hoped that the Squash Rackets Federation of
India (SRFI) is able to find sponsors that will enable
India to host World Series events.
Thanks to SRAM’s (Squash Racquets
Association of Maharashtra) constant efforts, Mumbai’s
young, talented and established squash player Mahesh
Mangaonkar has received a grant of Rs five lakhs from
the Maharashtra Government, late last year.
Ministry officials from the state
government handed over a cheque to the player at his
The 20-year-old Mahesh has steadily
risen from the junior ranks into a top class player and
is currently ranked at a career high of 44 in the world
professional circuit. He has done exceptionally well
last season winning two major titles on the PSA Tour and
finished runners-up in three other events. Earlier last
year, he clinched the $5,000 Men’s Open du Gard 2014, at
Nimes, France and back home, won the $10,000 Men’s JSW
PSA Indian Circuit No2 2014, at Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana
Club, Mumbai, last October.
Mahesh’s mother Anjali was quite
satisfied with the cash award her son received and was
all praise for SRAM. “SRAM has been promoting squash for
a long time and have been supporting Mahesh from a very
young age. SRAM has taken care of Mahesh throughout his
entire junior career, his training and now they have
used their good offices to push his credentials which
helped to obtain this grant of Rs 5 lakhs,” mentioned
SRAM Treasurer, Mahendra Agarwal,
mentioned that this was just a small gesture for a
player who has brought laurels for Mumbai, Maharashtra
and someone who is a bright future for Indian squash.
“Mahesh deserves this award. He has done very well from
the junior ranks and now at the world level. With his
achievements we approached the state government and they
agreed to sanction this sum, with a promise to offer
more funds later,” he pointed out.
Agarwal further stated that the
SRAM is confident the new government in Maharashtra will
soon confer Mahesh with the Shiv Chhatrapti Award, the
highest award given to a sportsperson from the state.
“He (Mahesh) is eligible for the award and I’m 100%
confident that this new Maharashtra Government will
recognise the achievements of Mahesh and give him the
Shiv Chhatrapati Award very soon. It would also be the
first time a squash player receives this award,” stated
“This funding from the government
is not much and we are now looking forward to support
from the Central Government. We are also looking to rope
in sponsors and are confident that the SRAM and ISP, who
have done a lot for the game, will help to get a
sponsor. I will be grateful if corporates come forward
to support Mahesh,” Anjali said modestly.
The tall, dapper Mahesh is
currently in Boston, USA training under coach Shaun
Moxham preparing for his first major event, the Tour
Champions, starting in New York later this month.