Top squash players demoted as newcomers pushed up | Sunday Observer

Top squash players demoted as newcomers pushed up

20 March, 2022

Leading squash players are disgruntled over the grouping of players into the national pools who will be trained further under the Pakistani coach Rehman Gul who is now the national coach.

Some players who did well at the Nationals and the trials are seeing themselves not fitted into group A which is occupied by the younger players who did not do well at the trials or Nationals.

There are only two players who deserve to be in the top group. They are Ravindu Laksiri and Shamil Wakeel who are number one and two among the men.

But the other two are Methame Wood, who lost to Usama at the Nationals and Nevindu Lakman, who allegedly behaved in an unsportsmanlike manner when losing. This is a clear sign of favouritism meted out by the Sri Lanka authorities, former players told the Sunday Observer. Group B has Sheriff Hakeem and Usama who deserve to be in group A along with Ilham Asmone, Tusin Nilaksha and Snr. Jayatillake.

A couple of these players have done well at the National championship and complaint that they are willfully placed in group B alleging that this is the work of the selection committee and the squash authorities.

One of them who is also a school coach and did not want to be named told the Sunday Observer that he had beaten all his opponents and finished third at the Nationals and that there was no reason to be put into group ‘B’.

He said that the selectors have told him that he is not committed and not consistent in attending pool training. They have told him that he is not able enough to meet the demands of international competitions.

He said that he has been training for the past 14 years at his own expense and now in recent years for national training too.

He charged that the governing body has not compensated the players for attending training at various venues and has appealed to Sri Lanka Squash (SLS) to compensate the expenses incurred by the players for travel, buying shoes, racquets and other costs.

Even on the recent tour to Pakistan where the national players represented Sri Lanka at the Senior Asian Individual Championship they had to pay for their accommodation and PCR tests. Only the airfare for the players was paid for by SLS.

“Many of the foreign players are involved in PSA events almost every week. Thus they have to keep themselves fit to travel around and compete also. But, what are the Sri Lankan squash players doing all year around?” another player asked.

PSA consist many levels of ranking tournaments and the players have to participate to achieve points in order to get a better draw. It is known that Sri Lankan players are placed in the lower ranks for reasons best known to SLS authorities.

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