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Thatcher on Thursday
Alan Thatcher's regular comment on the World of Squash  

Thatcher on Thursday click to go to ToT History Page


19th January 2011
28th December 2011
James Willstrop On Top Of The World
2nd December 2011
An Inspiration From Soweto on World Squash Day

17th November 2011
JD and Morphine: But what's the Latin for that?
29th October 2011
Nicol David Takes Centre Stage In Olympic Bid


The Views And Opinions Expressed In This Column Are Not Necessarily The Views Of or Squash Player Magazine

Click here to Contact Alan with your views or opinions


19th January 2011

“If Carlsberg did squash tournaments, the ToC would be it”

Nick Matthew on the Tournament of Champions event at Grand Central Terminal in New York


Nick Matthew has booked his ticket to Grand Central Terminal in New York for his return to the PSA World Tour.

He meets US-based Egyptian Wael El Hindi in the first round as he bids to get his career back on track after almost two months out of action through injury.

During his absence he surrendered his place at the top of the world rankings to fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop, who won three tournaments in a row to take the number one spot for the first time in his career.

Matthew returns as number two seed and the two Englishmen are scheduled to meet in the final in New York.

This time the major missing ingredient is Ramy Ashour, who is suffering from a hamstring injury.

After dominating much of 2010 and the first half of 2011, Matthew suffered a series of defeats followed by that enforced injury lay-off. Belief that the injury had contributed to some of those defeats was never offered as an excuse by the 31-year-old from Sheffield.

He lost three times to Ashour, suffered a shock reverse to Tarek Momen in Qatar in October, lost to Gregory Gaultier in Hong Kong and then withdrew from the Kuwait Open at the quarter-final stage where he had been drawn to play Karim Darwish in a newly-installed (and hopefully  forgotten, according to Matthew) random draw.

His outstanding achievement in retaining his World Open title in Rotterdam during the middle of that mental maelstrom was testimony to his phenomenal work ethic, tenacity, stubbornness and determination. Not to mention a ferocious attacking style played at high speed.

To play that kind of squash requires immense fitness and it was this department that let Matthew down before Christmas.

The reason for his withdrawal in Kuwait, and his decision not to play in Delhi, was put down to an adductor injury.

Nick was happy to explain fully as I caught up with him early in the New Year after a training session at his home club, Hallamshire, in Sheffield. He said: “It was a tear at the top of the hamstring where it meets the glutes. It was just a little tear but it affected the adductor. I am not far off being OK. Another two weeks to go before I get the OK to play in the Tournament of Champions.

“I am in full training now and getting close to 100 per cent.  After the physio and rehab I am back on court and doing a full programme, but at the moment I am only operating at 70-80 per cent in terms of intensity.”

Most of the leading players have suffered injuries in the past two years and Nick added: “Injuries have happened to most of the top guys. It’s a tough sport! You look after your body as best you can and be as pro-active as possible. There are not enough hours in the day to worry about it. But you need to have a balance between training and playing. And it’s important to take the decision not to come back too early.

“I am not rushing things but am definitely aiming to be back for the TOC.

“It’s important not to get too down. You can use the time away from tournaments very usefully in terms of strengthening your body and analysing various aspects of your game. You definitely don’t get the time to do that when you are playing tournaments.

“The one thing I learnt from my last injury, when I took a long time to get my shoulder right, was that you can turn these things to your advantage. You are always trying to improve and it’s important not to worry about rankings.

“I never feel I’m looking over my shoulder at the other players. I just want to improve my game. You chip away during tournaments and you work on the psychology as well.

“You are always looking to improve on a few areas of your game. I have got my way of playing and always will, but you always like to add a new shot here or there.

“As for the TOC, my trainer will be coming over for the first time and he’s very excited about it.    

“If Carlsberg did a squash tournament, that would be it!”

In February and March, Matthew will be attempting a hat-trick of championship victories at both the North American Open in Richmond and the Canary Wharf Classic in London.

He said: “At the moment I am looking two or three days ahead with my training but as defending champion in those two tournaments I am very proud and they are both special events for me.

“With my injury I am just going from day to day and not looking too far ahead. When you get to the point of planning a return to playing you can start looking at the calendar and thinking about playing. When you are coming back you will take any win you can get.”


Looking ahead, beyond New York, Matthew will be bidding for a third consecutive triumph in both the North American Open and the Canary Wharf Classic.

“The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond is certainly the best hotel we stay at on the tour. The whole tournament has a great feel to it. It’s a close-knit community and everybody goes out of their way to look after you.

“You are tremendously well looked after and that helps you to feel comfortable there. In turn, that helps you to perform better.

“Canary Wharf is another great tournament and a hat-trick in both would be lovely. But it’s a long, hard season ahead between now and May and, like I say, I will take any tournament win right now.”


Nick was full of praise for England team-mate James Willstrop’s rise to the top of the rankings for the first time in his career.

He said: “James deserves it. He has got to the top by accumulating wins with good performances. He deserved to win three in a row because of his consistency.

“He had not won anything since the ToC two years ago but those three wins propelled him to the top. It also showed how close he had been all the time in between.  

“It is up to the rest of us to decide how long he stays there. There was not much time between those tournaments but there is a pressure that comes with being number one and we will see how he deals with that.

“With James and I at one and two we will be seeded to meet in the finals but with Amr Shabana now at number eight you can’t afford to look too far ahead. With that kind of strength in depth they are all hard matches, especially from the quarter-finals onwards.

“If you want to get back to number one you just have to beat whoever comes out of the draw.”


Although failing to make a deserved place on the short list for the BBC Sports Personality of The Year Awards, Nick accepted his invitation to the televised ceremony in Manchester and enjoyed a pleasant evening sat next to England cricket coach Andy Flower.

He said: “It was a great evening. Andy is a nice guy and we had a good chat. He plays squash himself and understands the game. He asked me about various aspects of the game and invited me to talk to the England cricket team. He likes the idea of sharing knowledge across the sports. He was very keen to learn about the work I do, both from the mental aspect and the physical programme. He is a real deep thinker.”


Work has started on the new court glass show-court named after the world champion at the Hallamshire Club in Sheffield, which has been Nick’s home base for his entire career. The court will have a glass back and side wall and Nick says: “Building work has started and it should look fantastic. I am very proud and very honoured by what’s happening. Hallamshire is a wonderful place. You hear stories about clubs closing down but to see the all-round strength of a family club like Hallamshire is fantastic.” 


Matthew also trains at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield with prominent athletes like his friend, Olympic heptathlon star Jessica Ennis. He said: “It is not healthy to exist in just a squash bubble. It’s great to be able to share experiences and knowledge with athletes from other sports. It keeps you on your toes, and helps to keep you fresh and motivated.”


Winning the World Open for a second time was an astonishing achievement for Nick Matthew, beating Gregory Gaultier of France 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 in 92 minutes of absorbing, pulsating, aggressive and spellbinding squash.

To say Matthew enjoyed the experience is an understatement. He was delighted to have won in an front of a full house crowd at the Luxor Theatre in Rotterdam and said: “It was just like being part of a proper West End show. The atmosphere was unbelievable.”


The one drawback for Matthew was the seating position of the referees. He added: “It was a great venue, but there was just one fault, and that was the position where the referees sat. If they were close to the stage they were too low, or if they were higher up they were too far away. It was not ideal for the officials. In a big arena, it’s important for the referees to get a good view. We want to help them as much as we can, and the video review system has been a success, but when they are sat 30 metres away from the court it is not exactly ideal.”


Matthew felt sorry for Gregory Gaultier, losing his third World Open final. He said: “Even though I lost the first I knew that I was not playing badly. I was not doing anything wrong in particular, but that he was just playing better than me.

“I stuck in, stuck in, stuck in, and just started to attack a little bit. I got a finger in the door, and then my body through, and saw a chink of light and went for it.

“When I won today, it was pure joy, and pure relief. I feel for him, he’s been in three finals now, but hopefully he’ll win one after I’m gone!”


“I was very disappointed to miss out on playing at the World Series finals at Queen’s Club, especially with the last two days being screened live on Sky. The last time squash was shown live on Sky, from the Liverpool Open in 2006, I lost to Lee Beachill in the quarter-finals.

“But I will be on TV after the NAO, because I have been invited to appear on Question Of Sport. The programme is being recorded in Manchester and I hope to do well. I have a great memory for sporting trivia so I am hoping it will serve me well.”


I asked Nick how he would celebrate if squash was voted into the Olympics and his beloved Sheffield Wednesday were promoted to the Premier League.

He said: “I think I’d do a Darren Clarke,” referring to the Irish golfer’s all-night celebrations after winning the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George’s, Sandwich.


JANUARY: Tournament of Champions, New York
Runner-Up to Ramy Ashour

FEBRUARY: North American Open, Richmond VA
Champion, beat Ramy Ashour

MARCH: Canary Wharf Classic, London, England
Champion, beat Peter Barker

AUGUST: Australian Open, Canberra
Runner-Up to Ramy Ashour
World Team Championships, Paderborn, Germany
Final (England v Egypt): Lost to Ramy Ashour

SEPTEMBER: British Grand Prix, Manchester, England
Runner-Up, lost to Ramy Ashour

OCTOBER: US Open, Philadelphia
Runner-Up to Amr Shabana

Qatar Classic
Lost 2nd round to Tarek Momen (Egypt)

NOVEMBER: World Open, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Champion, beat Gregory Gaultier (France)

Hong Kong Open
Lost to Gaultier, Quarter-Finals

Kuwait Open
Retired injured ahead of Quarter-Final  tie v Karim Darwish (Egypt)

DECEMBER: Punj Lloyd Masters, Delhi
Withdrew, injured.


28th December 2011

James Willstrop On Top Of The World

James Willstrop enters 2012 as world No.1 for the first time following a hat-trick of top-level triumphs in Hong Kong, Kuwait and Delhi.

As he savoured his successes, Willstrop took time out to reflect on a year that began disastrously but ended in spectacular fashion.

He also sounded a warning to his rivals that he is determined to hang on to that position by becoming more ruthless on court in the future.

The tall, stylish Yorkshireman beat Egyptian Karim Darwish in the first two finals at Hong Kong’s harbourside and Kuwait’s Green Island resort, and then overcame Frenchman Gregory Gaultier inside India’s Commonwealth Games venue following one of the most momentous opening games in squash history.

He lost that game 19-21 but ultimately, that investment led to him winning the match, a cheque for almost 25,000 dollars and, most importantly, clinched the world No.1 spot in the PSA rankings as the New Year dawned.

Squash star James Willstrop declined an invitation to the BBC Sports Personality Of The year show.

Willstrop, who will begin the New Year as PSA world No.1, explained: “I would not feel comfortable at a function like that. The event lacks all kinds of integrity as a genuine sporting awards function.

“It is a fanciful event, a glamour and celebrity extravaganza. I am pleased that Mark Cavendish’s achievements in cycling were recognised but the event is all about celebrity.

“It highlights the fact that the British media is obsessed with fame and celebrity. The BBC shortlist ignored British world champions, such as Sarah Stevenson in Taekwondo and Rebecca Adlington in swimming, and that is very disappointing.

“I would not have felt right being there.”

Many squash observers have rightly felt double world champion Nick Matthew deserved to be among the nominees.

The opening game in the Punj Lloyd Masters lasted 58 minutes and the physical exertions required to win it took their toll on Gaultier. Willstrop won the second game 11-8 and the third 11-4, and he was 6-1 up in the fourth when Gaultier conceded the match because of cramp after 99 minutes of high-quality, brutal squash.

Willstrop said: “That first game was simply amazing. We both just kept going and going. You just play flat out and every point counts. It was an awesome game and one of the longest in the modern game.

“It had everything, physical endurance and mental toughness. What we were both doing on there was pretty tough.  It wasn’t flashy, in-the-nick squash, but it was still a classic game in terms of squash quality.

“At the end of the game I felt I had done what I had planned to do and my squash was working well. I had worked hard and was pretty disappointed not to have taken the game because I was doing the right things.

“I felt good, I felt strong and as soon as we walked back on court for the second game I felt him drop a bit. I thought ‘There’s no reason why I can’t win this’.

“You can talk yourself out of losing a match and I kept reminding myself that I had to keep everything tight. The next little challenge was the second game. I won that and there was no advantage to him any more. We were level. And again I felt a slight drop in his performance in the third game. The rallies were strong and hard and the third game was the same. I built up a good lead and could see he was on a downward curve. That’s not to say Greg didn’t want to win it either, but I was feeling strong and knew how badly I wanted to win it, and that’s what carried me through.

“At the end of the third game, Greg took a three-minute injury break. After 90 minutes of tough rallies on court, perhaps things had just caught up with him. 

“I just got on with everything I had to do. When Greg conceded with the score 6-1 in the fourth I just collapsed on to the court floor. I don’t know why I did that, but I it was the culmination of so much hard work during the year, and knowing what it had taken to get there.

“That moment came after a lot of years of doubt and it was about so much more than just winning a squash game. It was pure emotion and I was so pleased to have my family and closest friends with me in Delhi to share it.

“We hadn’t planned it but I was so pleased everyone was able to get to Delhi: Vanessa, my girlfriend, was MC at the tournament, and my Dad, Malcolm, my brother David (Campion), my manager Mick Todd, and David Pearson (former national coach) were all able to get to get across to the other side of the world and to have them all there was so special.

“It was a dream scenario and it was a wonderful feeling to have them all there to be part of it and share it with them.”

Victory propelled Willstrop to world No.1 for the first time in his career, making him the last of the current top six to sit astride the rankings.

Ending the year on such a massive high was an enormous contrast to how he began it, admitting he was stale, tired and not enjoying his squash after losing in the quarter-finals of the National Championships to Jonathan Kemp.

He told a stunned Manchester audience: “I’m just not enjoying playing at the moment. I just feel exhausted. Every time I’m on court, it feels like it’s a toil. I’m actually glad I’m not playing tomorrow.

“I played a lot of squash in the autumn and maybe should have done something to reduce the load and manage my schedule a bit better.”

Reflecting on that today (two days before Christmas), Willstrop added: “I was going through a really tired spell. The end of 2010 was really hard for me. I was knackered. I could not find the energy to enjoy what I was doing. It feels good to have turned it around.”

I asked him if he had learned any lessons from that experience and he replied: “It’s not that simple. Sometimes it’s not that easy to affect how things are going. The schedule at that time was particularly strenuous and I had lots of hard, tough matches.

“This year the physical side of things has not seemed so hard. It helps if you are playing better squash. If you can win 3-0 you spend less time on court. You preserve your body and your energy levels.”

I asked him to dig a little deeper for an explanation. He answered:   “That may sound a simple solution but yes, there is a much deeper answer. It comes from an 18-year-old working tirelessly to advance, constantly learning and analysing everything to get on in the game. Finally it all came together at one period of time. There is no magic wand that can help you, but what I have learnt from the last few weeks is the importance of finishing matches as quickly as possible to preserve your energy. That’s the main thing, so that when you enter the final phase of a tournament you still have plenty of energy left in the tank.

“Having said that, I know that next year could be very different.  You have to live with the schedule. I have talked about it a lot with the people around me and they have helped me to try to stay as fresh as possible, especially when you come home from a tournament overseas.”

Willstrop allowed himself the luxury of a brief rest after returning home from Delhi but I caught up with him as he headed to Pontefract for a training session as the rest of the country began their Christmas holidays. He said: I’m not one for wallowing around on the sofa and watching TV, especially during a time of the year when there is a tendency to eat too much.”

He and his girlfriend Vanessa are both vegetarians and I asked him what was on their festive menu. “I can confirm that Vanessa and I make the most delicious, most beautiful nut roast. A lot of people might turn their noses up at that but it is at least ten times better than boring turkey.”

When the holidays are over, he will be heading for London to compete in the PSA World Series Finals before planning trips to the States for the Tournament of Champions and the North American Open in Richmond.

At the start of 2010, Willstrop had achieved the rare satisfaction of overcoming Egyptian trio Amr Shabana, Karim Darwish and Ramy Ashour to win the TOC at Grand Central Station in New York. But in 2011, he fell in the semi-finals, a straight-games defeat to Ashour.

It was a significant sign that all was not well in Willstrop’s world.

His New York disappointment and Manchester meltdown followed a year of significant consistency but one that accumulated an ever-increasing workload. His TOC triumph in early 2010 was his sole tournament win, but he finished as runner-up in seven other tournaments, and reached the semi-finals of four others.

Clearly, fatigue was eating away at his fitness and his normally unflappable dedication to his craft. He was struggling to cope, physically and mentally. The hours of training, the physical toll of continuous tournament play, plus all the travelling, was wearing him down.

In many of those matches he had seen his England team-mate and Yorkshire neighbour Nick Matthew demonstrate the consistency required to win big points, dominate major tournaments, and rise to number one in the world.

Willstrop had finished runner-up to Matthew in the final of the World Open and the Commonwealth Games and had failed to halt a long, losing run in a domestic rivalry that was being played out on the global stage.

Now, here we are talking about a man who is literally at one with the world. He may not have beaten Matthew on his way to the top of the rankings in the past three tournaments, but he has finally overtaken him at the top of the PSA tree.

While Matthew recovers from an adductor injury, and targets a return to the court at Queen’s Club for the World Series finals, Willstrop can enjoy Christmas and feed on his new-found confidence as he makes plans for 2012.

He knows that when Matthew and Ashour are fully fit again, he will need his new tactical and physical strategies to be as effective as possible.



First round:

Jonathan Kemp (England) 13-11, 11-6, 11-5

Second round:

Olli Tuominen (Finland) 11-3, 11-8, 11-6


Peter Barker (England) 11-3, 11-8, 3-0 retired


Gregory Gaultier (France) 11-9, 11-9, 11-1


Karim Darwish (Egypt) 11-5, 11-9, 11-4


First round:

Chris Simpson (England) 11-0, 11-8, 11-9

Second round:

Alister Walker (Botswana) 11-7, 11-5, 11-3


Peter Barker (England) 11-9, 11-7, 11-7


Gregory Gaultier (France) 11-9, 11-6, 11-3


Karim Darwish (Egypt) 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-2


First round:

Nic Mueller (Switzerland) 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5

Second round:

Alister Walker (Botswana) 12-10, 11-4, 11-5


Daryl Selby (England) 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5


Peter Barker (England) 11-4, 11-3, 11-4


Gregory Gaultier (France) 19-21, 11-8, 11-4, 6-1 retd.


James Willstrop overcame Gregory Gaultier in all three tournaments. He beat him in straight games in both the Hong Kong and Kuwait semi-finals before that epic confrontation in Delhi.

Willstrop also met Peter Barker in all three events, twice at the quarter-final stage and once in the semis. The quickest of the three lasted just 27 minutes as Barker retired through injury in Hong Kong.

Willstrop beat Alister Walker twice (in Hong Kong and Kuwait) and also recorded an opening game 11-0 win over Chris Simpson; quite a contrast to that 58-minute first game against Gaultier in the Delhi final!


After winning in Delhi, Willstrop was quick to thank his support team. He said: “This is such a special day for me. And it’s extra special to have achieved this here so many close people in attendance, including my girlfriend Vanessa (Atkinson, who was the tournament MC), my Dad, Malcolm, who has given me an incredible amount of attention and support since the start of my career; my brother David (Campion), the endless sessions on court and the work we have put in together; and my manager Mick (Todd). It’s the most special feeling, because they have given me so much. It wouldn’t mean half as much if I hadn’t had these people behind me.


Willstrop was very quick to praise his opponent, Gregory Gaultier, adding: “To have had all those people here has made such a big difference. Greg talked about not having his team with him here in Delhi, but I’ve been lucky as we have planned this. And I would like to thank Greg for the spirit in which it was played.”



“The first thing that came into my mind when I won was not about winning a squash match. It was about the ambition we carry and the will to be the best at what we do, in these great venues all around the world.

“But most of all it’s about the people around me who work for me and with me, and help me to enjoy successes like this. It’s a great life we lead, but this moment is for them. “


“I am incredibly pleased to have won, but it was a very hard fight against Karim.

“It is difficult to back up performances in two tournaments and the odds are against you. In the past I have always worked hard in training on my weaknesses, but now I am concentrating more on my strengths.

“I have tried to adapt my squash to my physical condition. Can I win three in a row? Well, I guess it can be done. If I can produce squash like that, I can win the next one.”


“Winning the PSA Masters is a massive big deal. It’s a very special day. Amazing. I am feeling good physically and winning breeds extra confidence. I am in strong physical shape and can last the tournaments now. It has all come together and this is very special for me.”


2nd December 2011

An Inspiration From Soweto on World Squash Day

Many of you reading this will not have been involved in World Squash Day last Saturday. I guess some of you may not have known it was taking place. Some of you probably knew it was on, read about it, then moved on to the next article about a major tournament taking place somewhere across the globe. A tournament like the World Open, perhaps, where promoter Tommy Berden laid on a spectacular event in a stunning venue.

Behind the headlines, and far removed from the lifestyle of our  jet-setting professionals, lies a world most of us know about, but again, we prefer to turn the page instead of confronting the reality of life in places like Soweto.

This sprawling, poverty-stricken township on the edge of Johannesburg was the epicentre of World Squash Day.

More than 600 children from the Soweto townships were given a free lunch and treated to a day of squash and education classes.

Former WISPA World Tour professional Lauren Siddall, now Head Coach at Pretoria University, said: “It was a fantastic day, combining World Squash Day celebrations with real-life issues and education for people who wouldn't usually have the opportunity to play squash but who fell in love with the game instantly.

“The older children were welcomed to the lecture theatre and were given sex education and education on HIV/AIDs.

“This is an ongoing programme run by Central Gauteng Squash that is constantly bringing in hundreds of children to this wonderful sport.

“The day was run by Glenn Lazarus and his brilliant development team, Sharon Sibanda, Lawrence Dlamini and Dikana Mthombeni, who have trained as squash coaches and now manage the whole programme embracing more than 1,000 children.”

Siddall added: “I was sad to miss the World Open in Rotterdam, but I am happy to be giving back to the sport I love, especially in circumstances like this. We are about to launch an appeal for rackets, shoes and clothing to help the project grow.”

Lauren's report from South Africa showed how squash can interact with a community to provide amazing, life-changing experiences.

For all those people in squash who did nothing to promote World Squash Day, here was a lesson. Not only a lesson in sport, but a lesson in life.

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17th November 2011

JD and Morphine: But what's the Latin for that?

My friend Sara Rennie Heretick keeps the players in shape at the NAO in Richmond.

She posted an amusing quote to her Facebook page, saying: “When you were a kid, your music teacher could always tell when you had NOT practiced between lessons. When you are an adult, your massage therapist can tell when you are NOT doing your stretches between visits, no matter what you might tell him/her.”

My response was: “I’ve been rumbled. I hated Latin at school …. now I know lots. Erector spinae, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, sacro iliacs …. the list goes on. And why do they all hurt so much?”

Seriously, I was guilty of that cardinal sin, failing to practice what I preach. Stretching and staying supple are vitally important for all squash players, and especially wounded vets like me.

I was finally feeling pain-free after a long-term injury but last week took to a cold court without stretching and within a few minutes my back had seized up.

Asking your wife to tie your shoelaces (having had to put your socks on for you first of all) is a very humbling experience.

I had been out of action for a year with a painful back injury that ultimately caused my right leg to go into spasm. I was due to visit the osteopath but it was so painful that I dialled 999 instead and ended up in hospital.

They wired me up and detected a heart rate of 200-plus, caused, presumably, by the pain. I am now a big fan of morphine. In fact, JD and Morphine is now my favourite drink when I go out clubbing.

I know we are in November, but it’s time to begin my New Year’s Resolution two months early. Here goes:

I promise I will stretch every day.

I promise I will stretch every day.

I promise ….

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29th October 2011

Nicol David Takes Centre Stage In Olympic Bid

Nicol David continued her quest to continually raise the bar in athletic achievement when she won her sixth World Open title in her adopted home of The Netherlands, where she is coached by Australian Liz Irving.

In the final the Malaysian superstar overwhelmed her English opponent, Jenny Duncalf, winning 11-2, 11-5, 11-0 on the glass court in front of a full-house audience at the Luxor Theatre in Rotterdam.

Not only did she overtake the record she had jointly held with her mentor, Sarah Fitzgerald of Australia, she also chose the perfect stage to support squash's bid for a place in the 2020 Olympic Games.

She said: "I would swap any one of those six World Open titles for an Olympic gold medal."

You can't say it any clearer than that.

If that's the message from one of the leading squash players of all time, and one who clearly has the desire to win many more major championships to further enhance an already-astonishing career CV, then the sport has a collective responsibility to support her (and the WSF) in the Olympic bid.

In my view, tennis and golf do not need to be in the Olympics. Their presence is a commercial one, designed to sell TV time and bring in sponsors.

However, if you wish to equate Olympic ideals with the worldwide spread of a game like squash, and the genuine passion and desire of the sport's leading athletes to be part of it, then we deserve to be part of the show.

I just hope Nicol is able to extend her career to 2020 to take her rightful place on an Olympic stage. And that the rest of squash is listening and ready to act.

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