India in tough pool for U-21 Squash World Cup

India find themselves in a tough pool that includes top seeds Egypt and No.5 Australia besides eighth ranked Germany in the World Cup Chennai Open Under-21 squash championship to be held here from Feb 1 to 5.

The Group B contains England (2), France (3), Hong Kong (6) and Malaysia (7) as per the draw released by Srivatsan Subramaniam, Secretary-General, Squash Rackets Federation of India at a Media conference here Saturday night.

The Indian squad comprises women’s World Number 15 Dipika Pallikal, 17-year-old Asian U-19 champion Anaka Alankamony, Ravi Dixit, Ramit Tandon and Karan Malik.

Egypt will start off favourites as their team includes two reigning World junior champions Marwan El Shorbagy and Nour El Tayeb, ranked 41 and 20, respectively, in addition to 20-year-old World No.42 Karim Abdel Gawad, 18-year-old Mohamed Abouelghar, ranked 78 and 16-year-old former World junior champion Nour El Sherbini, currently the World No.28.

England, who hope to meet Egypt in the final, have in their ranks 19-year-old Charles Sharpes, ranked 96 and 17-year-old European junior champion Emily Whitlock, the World No.33.

Subramaniam said: “For the first time the show court will have a glass floor. The anti-slip floor will have LED lights below, giving a different feel to the court. The innovation will be showcased to Hein Verbruggen, President, Sports Accord and a IOC Member, who will witness the semi final and final.”

The Tamil Nadu government has offered to sponsor the event to the tune of Rs. One Crore, according to GA Rajkumar, Additional Chief Secretary.

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