A fifth PSA title last January in Chicago and a first-ever third round appearance in the World Championships in Doha earlier this month bookended a good year for India's best squash player Saurav Ghosal.
The Doha exploit had helped him get into the top 20. He is world No. 21 in the December rankings. A seventh national title on the trot and an overall eighth could be the perfect icing on his favourite truffle cake he can't have often.
Ghosal, 26, shifted base to Chennai first before settling down in Leeds to train under the best coach in UK, Malcolm Willstrop, and break into the PSA Tour.
Together they showed the way to many others. But even after a glorious year, Ghosal believes there is a lot to be done. "We need academies like the one in Chennai in all the metros. The next most important thing is the air-conditioning. Right from the sub-junior stage, squash needs to be played in chilling conditions. Otherwise the ball bounces too much and that changes the style of a player. When that player gets into the international level, he becomes a bunny," said Ghosal said here on the eve of the main draw of the 60th national championships. Squash Racket Federation of India's development officer Gautam Das couldn't agree more and said they are focusing on 10 states currently and are taking the game to the corporation schools.