The national squash federation, which has not been able to find a foreign coach in almost a year, has decided against a full-time appointment and will hire names like former world No 1 David Palmer in a shift to ‘event-based’ coaching.
The Indian players have been training without a full-time foreign coach ever since Egyptian Achraf Karargui left on a bitter note ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.
However, the senior squad comprising veterans Joshna Chinappa, Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal still returned with two silver medals. Largely on their own, at the Asian Games in August-September, the Indian contingent bagged five medals including a women’s team silver.
“Instead of hiring full-time coaches, we have decided to hire experts on short-term basis. For example, the players will get to train with David Palmer for a month ahead of the men’s World Championship in Washington in December,” national coach Cyrus Poncha told PTI on Tuesday.
“We believe the event-based hiring of coaches will be more beneficial for our players. We have also approached renowned coach Amir Wagih for a camp ahead of the Asian Championships next month,” said Poncha.
The appointments of both Palmer and Wagih will have to be approved by the Sports Authority of India.
Ghosal, who on Monday became the first Indian male to break into the top-10 of world rankings, is already working with US-based Palmer and Chinappa too has worked with the two-time world champion. Pallikal, on the other hand, has worked closely with US-based Wagih.
World No 15 Chinappa said she is looking forward to working with the likes of Palmer, who won a gold at the Commonwealth Games last year.
“Though I have my own coaching team in England, it will be great to work with a coach of Palmer’s calibre during events. I have worked with him in the past and I am sure we all can learn something from him,” she said.
While all the three players – Ghosal, Chinappa and Pallikal – have been least affected by the absence of a full-time coach as they have their own support staff, it is the junior crop which has suffered more due to the lack of a full-time professional help.
Ghosal has said in the past that a full-time coach will be more beneficial to the players who train in India rather someone like him who mostly trains outside the country when he is not competing on the PSA tour.