Indian squash sensational Dipika Pallikal, who won medals at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games said the absence of promising women players in her sport was sad.Â (Don't Regret Asian Games Protest, Don't Care What Mary Kom Says: Sarita Devi)
Dipika said barring Joshna Chinappa, who she defeated in Incheon in the quarterfinals, and herself, there was no other girl that caught the eye and that this was a worrying sign.
"The squash players did really well in the Asian Games. The men were splendid and they have some extremely promising players. But there is no visible talent as far as the girls are concerned, apart from Joshna and myself and that is sad to see," Dipika told NDTVSports.com.
The men's team won gold after Saurav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu defeated Malaysia 2-0 in the final. The likes of Kush Kuamr and Mahesh Manaonkar have also impressed Dipika, who is currently in the top five of the WSA rankings.
Dipika also hoped to see more sponsors coming in to the sport: "Squash is expensive. You need to travel, ideally with your physiotherapists and dieticians. You need to play tournaments. I hope more and more sponsors invest a lot more. They need to do more."
While she is concerned for women's squash in the country, life off the court is quite settled. Pallikal is set to marry Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik next year and she admits to be rather thrilled about the development.
"Dinesh and I have known each other for a while and every girl wants to settle down with a nice guy. He is an incredibly nice person," said Dipika, who said the two rarely talk sports at home."We discuss sports only occasionally, when we need to. Otherwise we keep our conversations light and chilled out," she said.
Pallikal's wedding with Karthik has created a lot of media interest, but that does not bother Dipika, who walks with a mature head.Â "At the end of the day, we understand that we are both public figures and there will be interest; especially because Dinesh is a cricketer. I don't really mind any of it (the intense scrutiny)."