KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Open squash championships is set to make a comeback – but with reduced prize money.
The tournament, which began in 1975, has not been held since 2015 following CIMB’s pullout as sponsors.
The tournament, which was also part of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour World Series, had offered US$50,000 (RM217,000) in total purse since 2006.
The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) have confirmed that the tournament will be revived this year – some time in October.
And SRAM, who are holding sponsorship talks with data service provider Ohana, also admitted that they are looking at reducing the prize money.
“Ideally we’re looking at a PSA25 (US$25,000; RM108,626) for the men’s event and a PSA15 (US$15,000; RM65,175) for the women,” said SRAM president Huang Ying How.
That means eight-time world champion Nicol David, who has won the Malaysian Open eight times (2005-2011 and 2013) is unlikely to feature.
“But money is not our biggest concern ... we’re more interested in growing the event together with the crop of talented young players that we have.
“We’re looking at a longer term ... of six to 10 years. It’s good to challenge our younger players and put some pressure on them,” said Ying How.
Malaysia have a good pool of talented players – like Ng Eain Yow, Mohd Syafiq Kamal, Darren Rahul Pragasam (men); S. Sivasangari, Andrea Lee and Aifa Azman (women).