Fans can win a hit on court with legend Nicol
By ALAN THATCHER, Squash Mad Editor
We’ll be rolling back the years on finals night in the Canary Wharf Classic next month as left-handers Peter Nicol MBE and Peter Barker star in an exhibition match.
Former World Champion Peter Nicol MBE and former World No.5 Peter Barker will kick off finals night at the 2018 Canary Wharf Classic on Friday March 9 with an exhibition match at London’s East Wintergarden to mark the 15th edition of the PSA M100 tournament.
Nicol is a former World No.1 and four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist and the 44-year-old was involved in putting on the first ever Canary Wharf Classic in 2004 with Tim Garner, Angus Kirkland and myself.
Barker was a runner-up at the tournament in 2011 and 2013, losing to England team-mates Nick Matthew and James Willstrop in those two finals. He won 16 titles on the PSA World Tour, is 10 years Nicol’s junior and faced his compatriot twice on the Tour, with the older Englishman winning on both occasions.
The duo’s match will be held at 6pm local time, with the final following at 7.30pm.
“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to be part of the action on Grand Finals night of the 15th Canary Wharf Squash Classic,” said Nicol.
“Having been there right at the start, when the kernel of an idea existed that we could put on a world-class event, its fantastic that 15 years on the event is going from strength to strength.
“It will be great fun to tread the squash boards in the spectacular East Wintergarden one more time, but I am slightly relieved that I am preceding rather than following these incredible athletes given the pace the game is played at these days.”
Meanwhile, the PSA Foundation – the charitable arm of the Professional Squash Association – is holding an auction to give squash fans the chance to attend a one on one clinic with Nicol on the day of the final, along with two tickets to the sold-out title decider.
The auction, which has gone live today (February 16), will be held up until 23:30 GMT on March 5, with bids starting from £250.
The clinic will take place on the same court that the Canary Wharf Classic final will be held on and interested parties can head to the following website to join the auction: www.32auctions.com/PETERNICOLCW2018
All proceeds from the auction will go towards helping the PSA Foundation in its efforts to support and grow squash globally through community involvement, to increase equal playing opportunities and to foster the well-being of professional squash players.
The 2018 instalment of the Canary Wharf Classic – which is held between March 5-9 – will see the likes of World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy, World No.3 Ali Farag, six-time champion Nick Matthew and former World No.1 James Willstrop do battle for the biggest share of the $100,000 prize purse – the highest amount of prize money in the tournament’s history.
It will become the first ranking PSA World Tour event ever to use a best-of-three games scoring format, with best-of-three scoring used for the first round and quarter-final fixtures, before it reverts to the traditional best-of-five games scoring for the semi-finals and final.
The tournament will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while the semi-finals and final will be shown on mainstream broadcasters around the world, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia, Astro and more.
For more information on the tournament, please visit the Canary Wharf Classic website: www.canarywharfsquash.com
About the PSA Foundation
The PSA Foundation (PSAF) is the charitable arm of the Professional Squash Association.
The PSAF supports four main causes: offering equal opportunities for women in squash, improving player’s well-being, providing environmental sustainability and supporting squash community programmes for children across the globe.
Through its programmes, the PSAF provides support for players during hardship and injury, as well as providing tools for life after squash.
The PSAF promotes the empowerment of women in sports and strives to find parity in prize money for the professional women playing on the PSA World Tour.
The PSAF has also developed the ReBound initiative to recycle used squash rackets, balls, shoes and gear to donate to four international emerging squash programmes in India, Colombia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
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