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Press Articles of Raju Chainani (1996)

 Trials for Asian juniors in Chennai

By Raju Chainani
Times of India 25-10-1996

MUMBAI, October 24. It is going to be a working Deepavali for India's top under 19 squash juniors. They have been summoned to Chennai to take part in the 'provisional trials (whatever that may mean) from November 1 to 6 for the Asian junior squash championships to be held in February next year.

That is just the beginning. After this round of selections the players have to attend a coaching camp. According to an SRFI letter "the date and venue of the coaching camp will be decided by the federation depending on the performance of the participants at the selection trials".

The junior nationals were held in Chennai a few weeks ago. Except for K C.Mehra, the SRFI president, the other members of the selection committee, N. Ramachandran, Manan Mashruwalla and Srivastan Subramaniam, were apparently present. Why did the SRFI not use the Nationals as the basis of selection?

Those who know about squash are aware that players like to peak for a major event. The top juniors had prepared for the Nationals and put forth their best, To be asked to return a few weeks later is grossly unfair. The players have to find time for their studies as well. The SRFI ought to be concerned about such matters as well.

The SRFI letter mentions that a junior national coach would be a special invitee for the selections. Which is strange because it is the coach who should be providing the inputs. Why have the SRFI dragged their feet on appointing a national coach? Till July, Rajdeep Brar was given that responsibility, Has he been given the push just like Ananth Nayak and Yogendra Singh were earlier?

SRFI secretary-general N. Ramachandran has suggested that he is "only the financier for the Asian championships" and that other decisions are made by people like Manan Mashruwalla. Unfortunately for Indian squash, personal issues are becoming the order of the day. Some of what Mashruwalla has done has raised a lot of question marks. For the Asian, we need our best team. It doesn't matter who somebody likes or dislikes.

Mashruwalla has the backing of Ramachandran. One has to ask why the SRFI president is keeping a low profile when he should be cracking the whip. So far the SRFI have done nothing about the way the Indian team's trip to Cairo for the world juniors was messed up. Instead, the person responsible has been invited to be part of a core committee.

By the way, the players who have been asked to go to Chennai for the selections are making their own travel arrangements. Some of them have obviously learnt the lessons from the Cairo trip .

Parth Doshi reaches final

The Times of India 11-12-1996

SINGAPORE: Mumbai's Parth Doshi, the number three seed has reached the final of the Perrier Asian boys under-16 squash satellite.

Doshi upstaged the number two seed, H. Goonasena (Sri Lanka) 9-6, 4-9, 9-3, 9-3 in the semi final. He beat So Pak Hei (Hong Kong) 9-2, 9-2, 9-0 in the quarter-final. Doshi plays fourth seed Abdul Azmin (Malaysia) in the final. Azmin defeated top seed Kenny Ng (Malaysia) 10-8, 9-0, 7-9, 9-2 in the semi finals. Doshi is India's sole entry in the tournament. This is surprising because India have a good record in the event.

Last year, Rohan Bhappu won the boys under-l6 and Arif Paul the boys under-19. The Perrier Asian satellites provide an excellent opportunity for players in the region to gain experience. This year, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India and Singapore have entered. '"We have two satellites. After the Singapore leg, the players go to Kuala Lumpur for the second satellite. The Asian Squash Federation is keen to expand the circuit next year," said Major (retd) Haridas Nair, executive director, Asian Squash Federation.

DELHI SAIL THROUGH: Delhi 'A' sailed through the round robin league easily winning all the five ties against West Bengal on the opening day of the National squash championships at the Delhi Gymkhana here.

In a one-sided affair, Delhi lad Udai Singh beat Sunil Pramanik of Bengal in straight sets 9-0, 9-0, 9-1. Sameer Thukral then routed K. Sarana 9-0, 9-0, 9-0.

Ritwik Bhattacharya and Yogendra Singh also won in straight sets giving a good start to the hosts, while Lalit Verma got a walk over from J.Choudhary.

The opening day saw Services beat Punjab 5-0. In a one-sided affair Rajdeep Brar of Services beat Manjit Singh (Punjab) 9-5, 9-1, 9-3. The Punjab lads were no match for the strong Services team, losing all the five matches in straight sets. Navneet Narain of Services defeated Sundeep Bhatia 9-0, 9-2, 9-0 while Lt. R. Teotia thrashed Amit Verma 9-0, 9-0, 9-0.

Ravinder Malik (Services) dominated Saravdeep Singh (Punjab) from the beginning and easily won the encounter 9-3, 9-1, 9-3.

Chandigarh had to fight hard for their win over Maharashtra 'B' 3-2.

Maharashtra 'B' also lost to Delhi 'A' in another pool 'B' encounter.


Services beat Punjab 5-0; Delhi 'A' beat W Bengal 5-0; Chandigarh beat Maharashtra 'B' 3-2; Services 'A' beat W, Bengal 5-0; Chandigarh beat Punjab 5-0; Delhi 'A' beat Maharashtra 'B' 5-0 (UNI)


Asiad to include squash, kabaddi

The Times of India 13-12-1996

BANGKOK: Squash has found a Santa Claus in the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Sheikh Ahmad al Sabah, president of the OCA, told the general assembly on Monday that the 1998 Asian Games at Bangkok would include squash as a discipline.

The Asian Squash Federation's of forts were almost thwarted as last Sunday Bangladesh put in a bid for kabbadi to be included. The OCA held over their final decision for 24 hours before announcing that both sports would be given entry, An impressive presentation to the OCA by the ruling bodies in squash did have the necessary effect. The facts pointed out were that squash had been included in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, squash was part of major multi-sport events like the South East Asia Games and the Pan American Games, squash has 27 member countries in Asia, squash's men's world champions nave mainly originated from Asia.

In addition, the continent would have hosted eight world championships including two junior championships in the six years from 1993-1998. In the overall analysis, an extensive document "New trends in world squash, 1985-95," by Indian journalist Raju Chainani has been widely acclaimed.

The Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) was deeply involved in the Asian Games programme. The World Squash Federation stood solidly behind using its political clout.

The media have played an important role. Be it print, television or of late the internet, squash has become a much more widely acknowledged sport than a decade ago. Within Asia, countries   like   Pakistan,   Malaysia, I Hong Kong and India have given extensive coverage of major championships.


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