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‘No real home advantage’

india Updated: Aug 30, 2010 00:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Saurav Ghosal is hoping for a great show by the women’s doubles and mixed doubles teams at the Commonwealth Games but says the players have not been given enough time to train at the venue, Siri Fort Sports Complex, in Delhi.

“We prepared well with quite a few training camps in Chennai. But it would have been a lot better had we had camps at the venue. It would have helped us get accustomed to the pace of the courts and lights. Only two players have trained there in July, that too for just three days.

“We are scheduled to assemble in Delhi on September 23 and that is when some of the other teams are also going to assemble. So, it won’t be an advantage for us,” said the world No. 26 at the opening of the eastern India leg of the All India inter-school squash championships at the Calcutta Racket Club on Sunday.

Ghosal, who will be partnering 18-year-old Dipika Pallikal in mixed doubles, said the women’s doubles pair of Joshna Chinappa and Dipika had the best chance of winning a medal after they won the title at the ESR Invitational Doubles Competition in Manchester in March.

The girls had defeated Aussies Kasey Brown and Donna Urquhart in the final and the top seeded English pair of Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters in the semifinals. In mixed doubles, Joshna will partner Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu.

“India will definitely not go as favourites in singles since the field is extremely strong. But playing in India, I will keep fancying my chances. This is where training for sometime at the venue could have increased my chances of causing an upset. But if we fail to win a medal at the Games, this will definitely not be an excuse,” said Ghosal.

He said as an Indian he felt sad by stories of corruption surrounding the Games in the media everyday. “But as a player if you are influenced by these things and your game suffers, then I think you have lost focus. But as an Indian, one feels sad because something that was conceived to make a statement to the world that India has happened is now desperately trying for damage control.”