As the DAC squash season kicks off, so does the PST’s (Pro Squash Tour’s). We now have a vested interest in the PST since running their end of season championship in May as we have signed on to host their major event - the World Championship - for at least the next 3 years. So I thought it would be the perfect time to pass on what PST has been doing over the summer to prepare for the year – and it wasn’t sitting on the beach sipping cocktails.
Firstly, let’s cover the players. After all, they are ones we spend money on to watch and get to socialize with. On a sad note, John White is no longer part of the PST tour. I am personally miserable about this because John was always one of my favorite players to watch all time (even when he was on the PSA) with his power, unorthodox shot selection, and pure entertainment value. A great personality on court, and just as delightful off it, he will be sorely missed at the DAC next year.
The reason behind his absence lies with the ban the PSA (Professional Squash Association) still have in place. As I have previously written about, the PSA do not allow any member of their association to participate in any PST event. The ban is ridiculous enough, but the PSA have managed to take it one step further. They have also forbidden non-PSA members associated with PST from competing in their tournaments too. John White is the head squash professional at Drexel University. Drexel University is set to host the US Open in October – a major PSA event. John would be expected to play in the event as a ‘local’, meaning that even though he is not a PSA member, he could enter the qualification draw. However, his association with PST prevented him from doing so. It would be difficult for someone of his caliber – understandably – to host such a prestigious tournament in his own club and not be able to play in it. Hence, his forwarded a statement to PSA announcing his ‘retirement’ from PST in order to be allowed in the draw.
Now, as far as I can see, there is nothing stopping John from jumping straight back onto the PST tour straight after the US Open, except for the fact that Drexel will be hosting the event until 2014. John can’t exactly ‘retire’ annually from PST – even the PSA will see through that scam.
|Stephane Galifi with the winners trohpy at the|
Atlanta Open in 2005