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Ritwik to lead Indian challenge in PSA Masters

November 06, 2009 18:14 IST

Come December, the world's top 32 squash players will travel to Mumbai to play in the inaugural Punj Lloyd PSA Masters 2009.

The six-day tournament, which starts on December 5, will be played in an all-glass court, 'The Thunderdome', on the lawns of the 134-year old Bombay Gymkhana.

Ritwik Bhattacharya and Saurav Ghosal will spearhead the Indian challenge in the $152,000 prize-money event -- the highest for a squash tournament in the country.

Squash in India has recently been upgraded from B to A category after the sport was included in the Asian and Commonwealth Games. Thus, the national federation is paying more attention in building infrastructure for the sport.

However, players feel there is still scope for improvement. Though India has a squash academy in Chennai, Ritwik feels Egypt boasts of the best infrastructure for squash players.

"In Egypt football and squash are like a religion. Everyone plays the game. The President plays squash. They have regular tournaments from the under-9 stage," he informs.

Egypt is indeed a favourite place for top players around the world. Young stars like Dipika Pallikal prefer to train there because of the world-class infrastructure it has and the amount one gets to learn from the leading players who go to train there.

Ritwik was happy that youngsters are taking up the sport. 

"It's heartening to see so many youngsters taking to the game," he said.