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Grant them a wish and they’ll take medals

other Updated: Sep 29, 2010 23:22 IST
Indraneel Das

With rippling biceps and broad shoulders, he might pass off as a boxer or a rugby player, but a little probing revealed that that he is a squash player. Adrian Grant is the lowest ranked player in the England team. The way he talks about England’s chances at this Commonwealth Games, reflects the kind of confidence he has in his team. He is ranked 15 in the world, but that means he isn't good enough to get himself a singles spot. Nick Mathews, the world No 2 and the top seed in this event here, smiles and joins him. He moves around like an ordinary athlete without any air; nor is there any sign of chauvinism when he speaks. The two will pair up in the doubles, and if they play to their potential, the gold is theirs for the taking.

Grant loves football, supports Arsenal and when the time came to choose between football and squash, he thought yielding the racquet would be the wiser choice. “I was in the Chelsea youth team and was playing squash as well,” says Grant. “When I had to take a decision, I picked up the racquet.”

Though he is not playing in the singles, Grant says, England should finish with a rich medal haul. “We have the top players in the world and we have the potential to win the maximum number of golds.”

Mathews, who will be playing in his second Commonwealth Games, says he is definitely looking forward to better his fourth-place finish. “I hope I win a gold,” says a modest Nick. An avid follower of the England cricket team, he says he is looking forward to the Ashes. “England is playing well and I am pretty sure they will win the Ashes.”

Mathews also believes he and Grant have a chance to win the doubles gold as well. “A gold in singles will be my biggest win in CWG as I finished 4th in 2006, says Mathews.

On the Indian squash players, Grant is all praise for Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal. “Saurav has been playing very well and could cause an upset or two,” says Grant.

Even Peter Barker and Daryl Selby feels that England will rule the court this CWG.

The entire squash team thinks the Village is fine, and they are happy to be here. It's as good as Melbourne, feels Grant adding, “the people are very friendly and hospitable.”