New Delhi: Squabbling within sports associations is quite common in India and one such battle is on at the moment in Indian squash where a rebel association is now conducting its own tournament.
Gaurav Nandrajog has been playing the final of the All India Open Squash Tournament organised by the Indian Squash Professionals.
Even though the tournament is not recognised by the body that runs Indian squash officially but that doesn't bother world No. 206 Nandrajog who won the final and took home Rs 50,000.
"We are professionals at the end of the day. We need to have a source of earning as well and sponsors are hard to come by in sports. So tournaments are actually the only way we can earn," says Nandrajog.
Indian squash has been plagued by problems between players and the federation with some leading players such as Joshna Chinappa accusing their federation of bias.
Opportunities are hard to come for players who don't train in Chennai where the federation is based.
In fact the senior nationals were recently postponed due to swine flu scare and so the All India Open Squash Tournament was the first chance to test their match play skills in a long time.
"I think the players have finally realised that they have unshackled the bond. I think it is going to be a bigger success if we have more time. We would have probably got more people because the nationals were cancelled," claims Tournament Director Rahul Kumar.
Reports also suggest that some players such as Janet Vidhi were threatened by the federation against playing in the tournament.
But she showed up anyway and won the girls crown.
"It was really fun. A lot of players had come from lot of places and I got a lot of matches. So that was the main point in playing this tournament. I am getting better and had fun," says Vidhi.
Clearly, a dispute of this kind can't be good for the sport and the earlier it is resolved, the better it is for Indian squash.