Friday, December 2, 2011


The signing of David Palmer to PST last month was an enormous boost to the tour. I suppose however, that the only negative I could see from it was the lack of competition for him. Sure, the other players are of an excellent standard, but you can’t really place them at the same level of a 2-time World Champion, top 10 legend such as Palmer. When would true opposition present itself, and from who? It didn’t take long to answer that. With the latest signing, the tour just become a lot more interesting – and flamboyant.
Egyptian Wael El Hindi is the latest top PSA player to commit to the tour. Based in New York, his November world ranking was 27 – which is a lot lower than his career high of 8 back in 2008. He has spent 27 months in the top ten, including a major tournament win in Egypt in 2008 and a US Open title in 2010. With his ranking as ‘low’ as it is, moving to the PST makes perfect sense. He brings a unique personality, fashion sense, and style by playing with that well-known Egyptian flair. El Hindi played Palmer 9 times on the PSA tour – but he failed to beat him even once. Of all those defeats, only 2 of them were 3-0, meaning the other 7 were very competitive. I am sure the two players are no less determined to beat each other now than what they were on the PSA, and I’m sure El Hindi will break his losing streak eventually.

It will be very interesting to see how he adapts to the PST’s no ‘let’ rule. El Hindi was renowned on tour for his numerous interactions with the referee, as a notorious blocker, and as a ‘let’ machine. (The Squash Poet took aim at him here: .) He is by all accounts an exceedingly fine fellow – I have met him a few times – so maybe with the PST rule restrictions, his squash will clean up tremendously and his silky soft racquet skills will do the talking for him! Not that has much choice, PST clamp down harshly on any player misbehavior. Either way, with El Hindi in the mix – who is 6 feet 2 and just fractionally shorter than Palmer – add on the human squash cannon John White (at 6 foot 1), and if those three qualify in the top 8 by the end of the season, the possible match-ups come the DAC event in May should make your mouth water uncontrollably. The pot just gets sweeter.

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