indian sport

Indian Squash Open: Saurav Ghosal rallies to beat Mueller for second title in four months

The world number 14 was trailing twice in the decider but kept his nerves to fight back and win 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10.

National champion and top seed Saurav Ghosal made a brilliant rally in the deciding final game to put it across number 2 seed Nicolas Mueller and clinch the title in the USD 35,000 Vedanta Indian Open Squash tournament in Mumbai on Sunday.
Ghosal, ranked 14th in the world, won 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10 after bouncing back from 3-7 and 5-8 deficit in the final game by reeling off five straight points to hold championship points at 10-8.

The Swiss, who had lost to Ghosal in three straight games in the final of the CCI International event in November last, saved both to draw level at 10-all but could not save the third after the 12-time Indian champion applied relentless pressure and lost in 67 minutes.

Mueller had beaten Ghosal in three straight games in January, 2017 in the Tournament of Champions in USA earlier but could come only second-best in the last two meetings between the two players.

“Today neither of us deserved to lose. It was a great match. We entertained the crowd. Both of us fought clean in the way we played. I am happy I came out on tops but congratulations to Nicky for the way he played,” said the Indian champion after his title win.

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Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

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This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.