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Asian Games 2018

Unnoticed, Indian Squash scripts best ever Asian Games medal tally

Unnoticed, Indian Squash scripts best ever Asian Games medal tally
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Published: 31 Aug 2018 5:09 AM GMT
While the Asian Games have been a chance for a lot of Indians to know about lesser known sports- events like SepakTakraw, Wushu and Kurash even yielded medals, in the busy schedule for Indian sports we often tend to neglect one of them. There is an activity in India, an exciting racquet sport which has seen Indians over the years participate and excel at various international tournaments. We are talking, of course, about Squash. Over the many years, the popularity of squash has been limited to the prominent names that have participated in it. For the longest time, the same pool of players have represented India, and they have consistently won medals at every level. As the sport is not a part of the Olympics, somewhere, it fails to receive the credit and importance that is perhaps due to it. Probably nothing describes that more than the fact not a single match of Squash has been broadcast to eagerly watching spectators in and around the continent. According to our sources in Jakarta, the host country themselves are not recording the proceedings, so it was impossible for any conglomerate even to consider buying broadcast rights for the event. In fact, until very recently, the months leading up to the Asian Games were filled with widespread speculation about whether the sport would be a part of the continental tournament at all. The best possible explanation given for this was that the game is not a priority for the host country given their poor form in it over the past many years. For Indians watching back home, this proves to be quite a setback. The Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games are two events where participating Indians have consistently done well. Additionally, the 2018 Asian Games have seen the best performance by an Indian contingent in the history of the tournament. With five medals already in hand- two out of those will be decided today after they were confirmed earlier, it is time Indian Squash starts getting the attention it deserves. Technical glitches have prevented the scores from being updated timely and, as such, the coverage of the sport in India has inevitably and understandably been patchy. The heroics of India's squash legends like Saurav Ghosal, Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinnappa remain unheralded- their glory unseen. It's quite a tragic scenario, to be honest. Granted, Team India has been doing well, and medals are consistently coming in from various quarters, but for Squash and enthusiasts watching back home, it is quite sad that they are deprived of the exceptional skills of their sporting heroes just because the sport was not deemed to be a priority by the organising committee. The Indian Men and Women's Team will be playing their respective semifinals today after they have confirmed at least Bronze. Squash in India has always been considered a rich man's game. The lack of awareness and sufficient broadcast will alienate it further.
Also read: It’s unfortunate that squash is not in the Olympics: Joshna Chinappa
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