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Is it okay for Dipika Pallikal to skip national tournaments?

Jai Prakash
Modified 20 Jul 2015
Dipika Pallikal

The recently concluded 63rd Senior National Squash Championships in Kerala was a huge success. Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinnappa emerged victorious in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

The tournament however did not see the participation of India’s No. 1 player Dipika Pallikal, who chose to give the tournament a miss for the fourth year in a row. The 23-year-old isn’t pleased with the pay disparity that is prevalent in Indian tournaments.

"The reason is the same why I haven't played in the last three years. I feel we deserve equal pay like most of the tournaments which are becoming equal prize money on the PSA professional circuit," Dipika said.

"I don't see why there should be a difference between men and women. I would have loved to play in Kerala and definitely miss playing the Nationals,"she added.

If that is the only reason for her skipping national tournaments, why did she compete in international tournaments where prize money for women is less compared to men?

Here are few tournaments (for both men and women) Dipika took part since January 2014  along with the prize money:

Tournament Month – Year Men Women Position
Windy City Open March 2014 $115,000 $50,000 1st Round
British Open May 2014 $150,000 $100,000 1st Round
China Open September 2014 $88,000 $50,000 Quarterfinals
Windy City Open March 2015 $150,000 $150,000 1st Round
British Open May 2015 $150,000 $115,000 2nd Round

Dipika won her only National title in 2011 and been lukewarm to national tournaments ever since she became country’s top ranked player. Her compatriot Joshna Chinnappa is a regular at all national events and won her 14th National title in Thiruvananthapuram.

"I consider it my duty to play for my state or to represent my country in international tournaments, Joshna told Times of India. 

Is it time for the National Federations to make national tournaments compulsory for all players? The administrators of concerned bodies will have to answer that.

Published 20 Jul 2015, 12:39 IST
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