Wednesday, 12 December 2007

England regain World Team title

The victorious English team - Beachill/Matthew/Willstrop/BarkerEngland today regained the men's World Team title they had won in 2005 with a 2-1 victory over Australia in Chennai.

Nick Matthew lost the opening five-game match against David Palmer 3-2, which was followed by a 3-0 win by James Willstrop over Stewart Boswell.

A tense decider followed as England debutant in the World Teams, Peter Barker, played off against Cameron Pilley in the third rubber ...

Barker was the fourth string in the England camp, but was playing in the final due to Lee Beachill's withdrawal through illness.

In a tournament that had brought a number of upsets, Barker proved true to form and justified his higher world ranking (13) to defeat his Australian opponent (23) in straight games.

The 24 year-old from Essex has stealthily crept up the rankings to earn his inclusion in the England team (probably at the expense of Adrian Grant).

I had been looking forward to Jonathon Power's return to the world stage, but his anticipated appearance against Australia was curtailed due to back pain. Similarly, I was expecting Ramy Ashour to be part of the Egyptian team, but he also clearly had not recovered from his recent injury.

These disappointments don't seem to have dented the success of the tournament, with the progress of the Indian team on home soil and the drama of the final day ensuring that team squash had another positive platform on the world stage.

Right: Peter Barker talks about the greatest moment of his career to date.

Men's World Team Championship 2007

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