Dipika Pallikal Says it's Now or Never for Indian Squash

Updated: 07 August 2014 18:56 IST

Dipika Pallikal won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in squash doubles with Joshna Chinappa and says she hopes it inspires others to take up and excel in the sport.

Dipika Pallikal Says it
India's Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal (right) celebrate winning the women's doubles squash final. © PTI

Squash sensation Dipika Pallikal hopes her and Joshana Chinappa's path-breaking doubles gold at the Commonwealth Games raises the profile of the racket sport in India and all stakeholders make a "much needed" effort to meet the dearth of world-class tournaments in the country. ( Also read: Dipika Pallikal has a man behind her success in CWG)

Pallikal strongly feels that the biggest win of her career in Glasgow last week should be used to change the face of Indian squash.

"I really hope our win inspires kids to take up the game. It would also be fitting if the sponsors wake up to the sport and start investing in Indian squash. If we are not able to make things better now, then I don't see it ever happening in the future," Pallikal said.

"Ever since I have returned from Glasgow, I have had so many people calling me and wanting to know more about the game. They said they were all so excited to watch squash on television. Now they all want to see some top quality action in India.

"It is disheartening that no big tournaments are being organised in India. I take great pride in playing for India and it is such a shame that I am not able to compete in front of the home crowd," said the 22-year-old, who arrived in Chennai on Tuesday to a lukewarm reception.

Other Indian players, including Chinappa and Saurav Ghosal, have also voiced their concerns over the lack of tournaments in the country.

India has not hosted a major pro tour event since 2011 despite the fact that the sport's world body is headed by an Indian, N Ramachandran, who is also the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president.

Talking about the road ahead, World No.10 Pallikal says her dream run in Glasgow has given her confidence to do better on the singles professional tour.

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