Nicol returns to scene of Indian success
meets Peter Nicol after a gap of eight years and is amazed at
Mahindra Open Champion Peter Nicol returned to a happy hunting
ground, India on Monday night and had an action-packed 12 hours.
At seven in the morning he met a few kids training under Amar
Haksar at the CCI courts. Then he met the ones at
Otters Club Bandra at 10.30 a.m. He then played a tiring
three-game exhibition game with Sammay Farrag, the Egyptian
pro brought here by Indian Squash Professionals.
After meeting the media, doing several one-on-ones - even while
munching his lunch - Nicol moved back to town to another elite
club, the Bombay Gymkhana for another round with the kids.
All this just five hours after arriving from Dubai where he competed
in the annual Dubai 3s.
Nicol said of the emerging nations India was the one he saw great
potential and said he would love to pitch in with his expertise to
fast track the growth. This was a recce visit for the World
Squash Academy programme he is to formalise soon.
Nicol video interview
get good facilities they can reach the top 10 but you need a squash
coach, a fitness coach, a video analyst because everyone else has it
and if you don't have it you lag behind. Squash is not a lucrative
sport so monetary support is necessary to ensure that a player can
participate in the next tournament without worrying about their next
Excerpts from Pradeep's interview:
Back in India after eight years, what's the feeling?
My three Mahindra Open titles are special. The kids who used to look
after me were great. The kids I saw at the CCI and Otters reminded
me of them.
What plans do you have for India?
Itís like Scotland where I come from. They didnít know big squash,
but I made it to the world stage from there. Indians can do that. I
have seen Ritiwik and Saurav, they are models to follow.
How can we go about the process?
Donít push the kids hard. Till 15-16 let them enjoy all sports, then
let them specialise. Thatís what I did, playing football, cricket,
table tennis, badminton till I was 16 then got to squash.
What was it like playing the Pakistanis and Egyptians?
They were all good. They just wanted to win thatís why it was
Why donít we see the good old drives to length
The racquet head speed has increased making it easier to hit
hard crosscourts. The game has become more open, there is less use
of the good old straight drive and the parallels. The game has
become more dynamic.
Howís your second innings?
My Eventis Sports Marketing company organizes major events in
England, like the World Squash awards and host of other things,
itís a new business. We charge big money but the value we deliver is
six times that amount.
Which are the emerging countries?
India, no doubt, China, South America, US from where a world
champion will emerge. Itís 14 years since they switched from hard to
soft ball, the champ will come from the next teen generation.
More from Pradeep coming up over the next 3 days