A brand new event format, reflecting the open draw style of English football’s prestigious FA Cup, is being launched by the men’s Professional Squash Association this week at the Kuwait PSA Cup, a PSA World Series event with a prize fund of $165,000 involving the world’s top 48 players.
Commenting on the new format, Alex Gough, Chief Executive of the PSA said: “For the Kuwait PSA Cup we have introduced an open draw from the quarter-finals onwards. This means that the top two players could face each other as early as the last eight which is something completely new in squash.
“We are constantly looking at ways to innovate the sport and this format, which draws on the open-draw system of the FA Cup, reflects this commitment. The fact that we have the world’s top 48 players from 21 different countries also shows how the sport is becoming increasingly global.”
President of the World Squash Federation, N Ramachandran added: “The new format for the Kuwait PSA Cup is another example of how squash continues to innovate and embrace change to make the sport even more appealing to fans, sponsors and broadcasters. Other recent innovations in squash include the dedicated TV operation SquashTV which will cover 13 major events this year, all streamed live and distributed to 20 broadcasters worldwide, with a potential reach of 340 million viewers.
“We have also introduced ‘Video Review’, allowing match officials to review decisions via TV replay, and raised the bar in terms of introducing the latest all-glass show court, featuring new larger glass panels, on-court air conditioning, a new floor and revolutionary lighting. All these innovations are critical to our ambition to become part of the Olympic Games from 2020 and fans can expect more developments to the sport in the months ahead.”