No Pakistani players in Indian Challenger squash

March 18th, 2009 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 17 (IANS) Pakistan players have stayed away from the $30,000 PSA Indian Challenger squash meet beginning here Wednesday.
“This is not an invitation meet. The players have to put in their entries for the tournament,” R. N. Ghosal of the Calcutta Racket Club, which is organising the meet, told reporters Tuesday.

“None of the players from Pakistan has sent in applications. Probably this is because they thought they may face difficulties in getting visas,” he added.

Pakistani players had come up with excellent performances in the previous edition of the tournament last year, with Mansoor Zaman claiming the title and his compatriots Aamir Atlas Khan, Shahid Zaman and Farhan Mehboob also performing well.

World number 34 and the country’s number one player Saurav Ghosal will begin opposite Indian Naresh Kumar in the opening round of the main draw Wednesday.

Ghosal, sixth seed in the tournament, could come up against top seeded Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia in the quarter final if matches go according to rankings.

World number 11 Beng Hee, last year’s losing finalist, would face Frenchman Stephane Galifi in the opening round Wednesday.

Second ranked Indian and world number 59 Ritwik Bhattacharya has a tough opening round battle against Egyptian fifth seed Mohammed Abbas. Abbas has won both the ties that he has played opposite Bhattacharya.

Second seed and world number 12 Mohd Azlan Iskandar has a relatively easy opponent in German Simon Rosner on way to the quarter final.

Players from nine countries are taking part in the tourney which is being assisted by the central ministry of youth affairs and sports under the scheme for preparation of the Indian teams for the Commonwealth Games to be staged in Delhi next year.

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