In a new club and after a 30-minute training session, Sourav Ghoshal, India’s highest ranked squash player, will return to the competition. If he goes deep into the $ 540,000 CIB Egypt Open, the world number 13 Ghoshal will play in a court with the Pyramid of Giza as the backdrop.
On 11 October, Kovid-19 halted their time on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour after being eliminated from the quarter-finals in London, Ghoshal Tom Richards (England) and Augusti Dussord (France). He has got a first round buy so he should win at New Giza Sporting Club, Ghoshal will play the pre-quarterfinals in a match called the Glass Court in front of the Pyramids. It is a platinum event, meaning it is one of the eight on the tour that draws the best. With the first round by-election in the women’s draw, 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist Joshna Chinappa is the only other Indian in the field.
Ghoshal played with Giza last year but this time she is going to feel different. To begin with, the trip was planned for six to eight weeks. And seven days to go to Cairo – Ghoshal arrived in Dubai on Wednesday with a stopover. In a WhatsApp call, he said “this is the only way because you can’t transit”. “There is a flight from Kolkata to Dubai every week, so if I had not left on September 30, I would not have made it on time.” After using an air bubble between the Indian and the UAE, Ghoshal used the time in Dubai to receive some training in between several tests, including the Kovid-19, a day before flying to Cairo.
After separation, Ghoshal was tested again on Thursday; The day after the open it was announced that the two players had pulled out because they were positive. As per PSA protocol, Ghoshal will have to be alone in the players’ hotel. Ghoshal said that it is okay because Diya, the sister of squash star Deepika Pallikal Karthik, does not like going on tour.
Initially suspended until July, the PSA World Tour resumed with a tournament in Manchester last month but Ghoshal said he dropped it because quarantine rules meant he would have to leave Kolkata about a month before. “And upon returning to India, you were required to remain in quarantine for 14 days.” That’s why Ghoshal, the only Indian man to break into the world’s top 10 (April 2019), will live in Cairo on November 1, before debuting the $ 175,000 Qatar Classic in Doha. “After that, I don’t know. ”
After returning from the Canary Wharf Classic in England, Ghoshal had to stay away from the court for three-and-a-half months, his longest break since becoming a professional in 2003. The hard lockout to counter the Kovid-19 began a few days after coming home from March 25 and not until July 1 that he could reach his second home in the 226-year court of the Calcutta Racquet Club.
“Mentally, it felt great but you need some time to get your rhythm back, rhythm in moving, rhythm in moving, which takes the longest,” he says.
While he was off the court, Ghoshal allowed some comfort food, initially spent a lot of time on the internet searching for information about Kovid-19 and forcibly confining multiple players, an eight-episode Hosted by talking to the people who made it related to India’s major sporting achievements. Ghoshal says that he canned the remaining two episodes of ‘The Finish Line’ before leaving for Cairo.
He also used lawns at home for strength work, shuttle runs and skipping. Speaking with the letter in April, he had said: “It takes us years to get into our best shape and it takes less than two months to lose.” Ahead of the Cairo incident, he says: “Physically, you could do a lot of stuff outside the courtroom but your body still needs to be used for squash-specific movements. It’s a continuous process.”
“But I feel good. I have put a lot in the bank in the last few months. Hopefully it will pay off now, ”says the 35-year-old Asian Games bronze medalist (2018) and Asian men’s singles champion (2019).
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