Saturday 19 January 2008

UK calendar fills up but I don't like Mondays

2008 is shaping up into a veritable tournament-fest for squash fans in Britain, with four big events scheduled to attract the world's best players.

After a slightly worrying 2007 in the UK, where the Super Series was rescued in the nick of time and the British Open wobbled back to its feet, the coming 12 months look set to bring the sport back to Blighty with a vengence.

But why are the British Open finals being held on a Monday?

The final matches were held on a Monday last year, and there have been a number of other tournaments where the climax of a competition has fallen outside of a weekend - last year's English Open, for instance, finished on a Tuesday ...

I can only think that it is the availability of venues that means that events can't be scheduled to finish at the weekend. This can't be good for the average working spectator, who would struggle to attend a Monday final if it is not held in their home town.

That small gripe aside, the British squash fan can look forward to the following during 2008:

Canary Wharf Classic (London)
Super Series Finals (London)
British Open (Liverpool)
World Open (Manchester - both men and women)

The geographical spread of these events is also important in bringing the game to a wider audience, as is the return of the Super Series to Broadgate - as I've said a number of time before, harnessing the financial muscle that only London can bring is crucial to the sport again dropping a firm anchor in the UK.

However, it's a shame that although WISPA's finest will be there for the BO and the World Open, there is no big women-only affair to match Canary Wharf of the Super Series.

While fans of the men's game will get to see the likes of Shabana and Ashour, it is only rarely that spectators in Britain get to appreciate the skills of Nicol David and Natalie Grinham.

How about a women's Super Series for Broadgate?

Canary Wharf Classic
Super Series Finals
British Open
World Open

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