Dubai: Egypt’s Karim Abdul Jawad will headline a strong group of players at the Dubai Squash Cup 2014 that gets under way from November 21.
To be held at two venues – the Dubai Police Officers Club and the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex – the competition will offer total prize money of $25,000 (Dh92,000).
The 23-year-old Jawad experienced something of a breakthrough year during 2013 during which he picked up the ‘2013 PSA Young Player of the Year’ while producing a terrific performance at the Qatar Classic before narrowly losing to Karim Darwish in the quarter-finals.
Currently No.17 on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) rankings, Jawad will lead a string of talented players including Chris Simpson from England, fellow Egyptian Mohammad Abou Al Ghar and Malaysia’s Mohammad Nafizwan Adnan.
Organised and sponsored by A2 Squash, the first three days of the competition will witness the qualifying rounds at the Dubai Police Officers Club. At the end of the qualifying, eight players will advance to join the best 24 in the main draw that will be held at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex from November 24 to 27.
Major General Abdul Aziz Al Bannai, President, UAE Squash Association (UAE SA) welcomed the international tournament as a welcome addition to the sports scene in the country. “We have nearly 1,800 squash courts in th UAE and we need to take advantage of this. We have made a good start and we currently have more than 200 young kids training with us. So the future looks good for the sport,” he said.
“Maybe we have not been as active as we used to be in the past. But the clubs and hotels have kept our sport alive. Now we see the need to start afresh and this tournament will go a long way in sparking this growth for squash in the UAE,” Al Bannai added.
“We are in for the long haul with this tournament. Slowly we have been building up the sport at the grassroots level and we felt this is the best time to once again have an international competition that can only get better with time,” Aroop Misra of A2 Squash, the sponsors of the event, noted.
UAE squash coach Abbas Khan, who has been in the country for the past 24 years, was pleased to see squash get such a boost. “We needed this tournament to make a fresh start. It could not have come at a better time,” he said.
What: Dubai Squash Cup 2014
Where: Preliminary rounds at Dubai Police Officers Club (Al Garhoud); Knockout rounds at Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex
When: November 21-27
Entry: Free for all days of competition
Organised and sponsored by: A2 Squash