Squash players in the country are waiting with bated breath as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gets ready to meet in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday.
The global body will decide which of the three disciplines —wrestling, squash or the combine of baseball and softball will be included in the 2020 Olympic Games programme.
Though internationally, the racquet sport is not as popular as wrestling, India’s Saurav Ghosal, ranked No 19 in the PSA Squash World rankings is hoping that the IOC will rule in squash’s favour.
“I’m aware that wrestling by default is a front-runner. But even squash has players, who are popular worldwide. From the Indian perspective, given a chance, players like Dipika Pallikal, Joshna Chinappa, Siddharth Suchde, Harinder Sandhu could shine at the Olympics,” said Ghosal.
“We have a pool of talented juniors who could be groomed for the future. An Olympic medal is possible. I’m hopeful that the outcome is a happy one for us. It would be a big shot in the arm for the sport,” he added.
According to the 27-year-old, it’s the dream of standing on the podium at the Olympics that drives most squash players. “Winning any medal for the country is an achievement.
But to win an Olympic medal is the ultimate aim for any athlete. Personally, I would give up all my achievements to participate in the Olympics,” said the Arjuna awardee.
Introduction of PSA-TV
Ghosal is hopeful that squash will make an impact during the IOC meeting. “Earlier, squash’s bid was rejected as the IOC felt that the sport wasn’t spectator friendly.
Keeping this factor in mind, the Professional Squash Association (PSA) has now introduced PSA-TV (live streaming on PSA’s website) to make the sport spectator friendly.
We have done what we could and I hope IOC considers us as a serious contender. The squash fraternity has done what it had to, now it’s time for us to sit back and pray for its inclusion,” added Ghosal.