Bring back the Tour, say SRAM

  • Squash
  • Saturday, 14 Dec 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The 10-leg Malaysian Tour Squash Circuits was introduced in 2013 and was a huge success in providing exposure to up-and-coming players.

Malaysian SEA Games trio of Rachel Arnold, Chan Yiwen, Lai Wen Li are among those who have benefited from the Tour.

However, the Tour which was financed by Youth and Sports Ministry for the last five years, has been discontinued due to a lack of funds.This year, only two legs of the Tour were held, funded by the CIMB Bank.

The death of the Tour has come as a big setback for the development of the sport and the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) is disappointed.

SRAM director Major (Rtd) S. Maniam said it was like pulling the carpet from under the feet of upcoming players as they do not have enough exposure.

“It is very expensive to send new players who turn professional for overseas competitions. To make matters worse, these players are ranked 400 or lower in the world and it is difficult for them to play in small tournaments because of the limited number of players allowed.

“Some of young professionals don’t get enough tournaments to play and this hinders their progress and their chances of improving on their world rankings.

“We (SRAM) have produced great players like Datuk Nicol David and men players like Asian champion Ong Beng Hee and Azlan Iskandar.

“And they have won many titles for Malaysia in the PSA (Professional Squash Association) and in Asia.

“We need tournaments like the Malaysian Tour. We hope the ministry will revive it.

“By having the Malaysian Tour, five Malaysian players – four from the qualifiers and one wild card – will get chance to play in every leg of the tour.

“Many players have benefited from playing in the Tour as it is held all over Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak,” said Maniam.

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