India's No 1 squash player Saurav Ghosal thrives on good training facilities that the United Kingdom lays out, but that doesn’t mean there are no regrets.
“I have been staying in the UK for the last eight years and like every other individual, would like to spend time at home and celebrate festivals with my family,” said Kolkata boy Ghosal over the phone from Leeds. He is ranked No 25 on the world squash charts.
Ghosal was part of the Indian team that made history by entering the final of the Asian Squash Championships last Saturday. The Indian men’s team went down to Pakistan in a close final, but the women created history by winning their maiden title as they beat Hong Kong 2-0. “It was unfortunate to lose the final, but I am glad that the women’s team which comprised Joshna Chinnappa and Deepika Pallikal won the final,” he said.
The 25-year-old stressed that he would be glad to train in India if the facilities were better. “Here, I train under Malcolm Willstrop. I get to play with some of the world’s best professional squash players like James Willstrop, whereas in India we lack quality training. There are no proper trainers or physios to guide you. If India had coaches like Malcolm and quality players to play with, I would have spent maximum time there,” added Ghosal.
Ghosal, however, felt India’s squash future is bright. “We have been doing well for the last five to seven years and I hope with players like Deepika, Joshna, Mahesh Mangaonkar and myself doing well, this sport will attract the masses in years to come. Hopefully, we will have a lot of Top 10 players in the next five years. This could also help improve the infrastructure in the country.
“Squash needs to be marketed well in India. There should be proper administration in place and schools/colleges should encourage and guide students towards this sport,” said Ghosal, whose next challenge is the British Open to be held in London from May 15.