Indian Squash players unsatisfied with role of Cyrus Poncha and Bhuvneshwari Kumari as coaches

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Indian Squash players unsatisfied with role of Cyrus Poncha and Bhuvneshwari Kumari as coaches

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SportsCafe Desk


The Indian squash team going for the Asian Games have questioned the role of Cyrus Poncha and Bhuvaneshwari Kumari as coaches, stating they have to rely on each other for technical advice during the matches. They said that Poncha and Kumari can only act administrators in the event in Indonesia.

The eight players that have been selected for the Asian Games have been training without a full-time coach. Bhuvneshwari Kumari has not been an active member when it comes to the functioning of the national team and mostly acts as a traveller for events like Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

Poncha, on the other hand, deals with matters concerned with the management of the team. Though rare for a coach, Poncha was the competition Director of the World Junior Championships held at Chennai.

However, the team requires a coach who indulges in the technicalities of the game with the players and advises them well. Coach Achraf Karargui would have filled such a role but he had resigned just ahead of Commonwealth Games in April after being exasperated by the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI).

“For technical inputs during matches, we rely more on each other,” a player told PTI.

“Since we don't have a full time coach, it doesn't leave us with much choice. Their role at the Games is more of an administrator than of a coach. Dealing with off the court issues and communication with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials,” said another player.

Dimple Mathivanan as the team physio has been a relieving addition to the players. Poncha is situated at the home of Indian Squash Academy in Chennai, whereas Kumari runs her academy in Delhi. On enquiring, she told that the coaches are recommended by the SRFI, while Poncha and SRFI were unavailable for making any comments.

“You should be asking them, not me. I am busy with my academy in Delhi and whenever I am called for national duty, I am more than happy to serve,” said Kumari.

Top player Saurav Ghosal also complained about lack of efficient coaches in India. The women's squad has been training on their own for the games, while Declan James from England has flown in to train with the men's squad.

Apart from Saurav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Sandhu, Mahesh Mangaonkar, and Ramit Tandon form the men's team. The women's squad has Pallikal, Chinappa, Tanvi Khanna and Sunayna Kuruvilla in their team. Earlier, Squash squad from India had bagged four medals at Asian Games 2014, including a men's team gold. They ranked second in the count for medals, just behind Malaysia.

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