Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) declared on Monday, 3 August 2020 that India will not participate in the Women’s World Team Squash Championship 2020. The tournament scheduled in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is taking place from 15-20 December 2020. Countries have to register by 15 August 2020 but our country will not do so, after consultation from top players including Joshna Chinappa.

The SRFI secretary Cyrus Poncha said, “Due to uncertainties regarding guidelines for the safe travel of our athletes and staff for national & international tournaments — yet to be obtained from the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MYAS) & Sports Authority of India (SAI) — coupled with lack of preparation time & match readiness of athletes, and after consulting our top players, the SRFI has decided to withdraw from the championship.”

Also Read: Wrestler Babita Phogat And Kabaddi Player Kavita Devi Appointed As Haryana Sports Deputy Directors

The players from Chennai started training only from Monday after the government’s permission to open academies and stadiums. For an event in December, it was too early for the Indian players to make commitments, added Poncha. 

What you should know

  • India backed out of the Women’s World Team Squash Championship scheduled in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 15-20 December 2020.
  • There is a wait on the guidelines on international travel for events from the MYAS and SAI. Some of the reasons for backing out include, the readiness of players, lack of preparation and time constraints.
  • The Asian Squash Federation cancelled The Asian Junior Individual Championship 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Considering the August 15 deadline, the SRFI had requested the World Squash Federation (WSF) for an extension which was not given,” said SRFI in a press release on Monday. It also stated that there SRFI is looking forward to guidelines from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sports Authority of India. These guidelines are regarding  travel and subsequent maintenance of safety and security of the players and staff for international events.

Joshna Chinappa told Times of India on Monday that, “The issue was more that the closing date was coming up. And ideally, I would have preferred if we could have taken the call a bit later. But the federation was told to make a choice in the next 10-12 days. That’s a bit too soon especially when flights are not operating and nothing is certain. The federation felt it was not worth entering right now. We have just started training. I am happy to play for India anytime, but I let the federation decide what is best for us.” She also notified the possibility of the event being cancelled and added, “There are no tournaments lined up in the near future. So, it could be that this tournament might be cancelled altogether too.”

Also Read: Wrestler Babita Phogat And Kabaddi Player Kavita Devi Appointed As Haryana Sports Deputy Directors

The Asian Squash Federation cancelled The Asian Junior Individual Championship 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Qingdao, China was hosting it in June. However, after postponing to December, the event was ultimately cancelled.

Bhavya Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.