Saturday, July 13, 2024

Right Ball Campaign: We need to appeal to all different crowds – Ali Farag

Following Squash Mad’s news that the WSF and Dunlop are, one hopes, aligned with our ‘Right Ball’ campaign with a move to put more bounce in the global game, we can reveal that four-time world champion Ali Farag is also a supporter.

There is no doubt that the introduction of a ball which is more appropriate for the use of children, beginners and perhaps even venerable ‘grandees’ would boost participation and retention.

And ‘Super Ali’, whose own daughter Farida turned two this summer, has admitted that he will be looking for an alternative to the double dot when he enjoys the moment all squash playing father’s cherish – that first father and child coaching session.

The World No.1 said: “Yes, I would definitely get something more bouncy for our first time on court, that would make sense as for all the people beginning squash the double dot will not promote much game play.

“So I think a faster and more bouncy ball would work much better for a young beginner, there is no doubt about that and I hope it is something that can be done.”

As revealed by Squash Mad, the Dunlop initiative will be fronted by their ambassador, former world No.1 Nick Matthew, along with a guidance poster and articles translated into multiple languages.

Dunlop will also take a new approach to supplying balls to retailers, clubs, and coaches, focusing on selling the full collection of double and single yellows, red and blue dot balls – not just offering double yellow dots, which limits consumer choice and exacerbates the problem.

When it came to how the issue presents itself to him, the game’s dominant force said: “So whether it is the single dot or coloured balls then we need to appeal to all different crowds, be they younger or older people, who just can’t play with a cold double dot ball.

“Personally I don’t have much of an opinion on this as I have always grown up playing with a double dot and it is all I know, but anything that is going to help promote our sport and reach more crowds I am all for it.

“So, yes, I definitely do agree we should try all different things when it comes to this issue.”

The man described by no less than Jonah Barrington as ‘nature’s gentleman’ also provided a ringing endorsement for your favourite squash website when he revealed he is an eagle-eyed subscriber of Squash Mad.

The British Open champion, who along with Geoff Hunt, Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan is one of only four men to hold the British and World championships in the same calendar year said: “I am a huge fan of what Squash Mad are doing and a loyal subscriber.

“I am proud to follow all of the great coverage Squash Mad provides day in and day out on our sport.”

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