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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

World champion Shabana slams promoters

World champion Amr Shabana has hit out at promoters on the Pro Squash Tour, claiming they have contributed to the spate of injuries at this week's World Open.

AFP, Thursday 9 Dec 2010
Shabana
Amr Shabana
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The Egyptian believes tough playing schedules around the world circuit are partly responsible for the premature exit of his two best known compatriots, world number one Ramy Ashour and former world number one Karim Darwish.

Both failed to finish matches because of hamstring injuries, and similar ailments also caused the retirement of France's Gregory Gaultier, another former world number one, and Adrian Grant, the world number 14 from England.
"All the promoters should think about the players more and give them more rest," Shabana claimed after benefitting from the retirement of Gaultier in the quarter-finals.

"Sometimes players have to play five days in a row. What's happened is a damned shame. It's a really tough sport physically and promoters don't think about this problem enough," he alleged.

Curiously the four high profile injuries have occurred in a World Open which is unique in having three rest days built into its schedule.
"Ziad (Al-Turki) has it right in giving us these rest days," said Shabana, speaking of the Saudi businessman who has brought a world championship to his country for the first time.

"But the tournament has come at the end of the season when players are most vulnerable. "Ziad has done it the right way. And John Nimick has done it the right way," Shabana continued, referring to the American promoter who stages the Tournament of Champions at Grand Central terminal in New York."But other promoters make players compete too many days in a row and their bodies don't have time to recover properly."
Part of the problem is that, in a sport which is not awash with sponsorship, profits for promoters can be uncertain. This means the cost of hiring a venue for an extra day and of paying for hotels is a major disincentive.

Nevertheless there was support for Shabana's view from Amir Wagih, Egypts' head coach. "I agree with him, because squash is becoming like tennis," he reckoned.

"They play at a very high physical level and it is very close between them at the top. They have to perform at hundred percent most of the time. "What we have here at the World Open is very good -- one day on, one day off -- because the physical level has gone up. The game has become more and more aggressive and the standard is very high. "I would like to see more promoters having rest days in tournaments. It's very important for players' health."

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