NAIROBI, September 18 – Defending champion Mordecai Kabamba is among 30 players who will take part in this year’s Nairobi squash pairings tournament that kicks off on Friday at Nairobi club.
Kabamba will face stiff competition from runners up Prince Mukuka and Raj Bains who finished in second and third place respectively.
Otto Kwach, Hardeep Reel, Hartaj Bains, Joseph Ndung’u and Leon Keya are among other top players expected in the tournament which will be used as a build up for Kenya Open squash tournament scheduled for November.
The five round knockout tournament also has Jackson Mureithi, Jack Omolo, Mike Gebremedin and Abubakar Chaudhry among the top 16 seeded players who are seeded in the first round.
There will be no international players being involved in the tournament apart from Kabamba and Prince Mukuka who are Zambians but reside in Kenya.
The top three winners will receive cash prizes after playing five gruelling games on Sunday.
The Nairobi club tournament will open the door for Kenya Squash Racket Association (KSRA) to focus on the grass root and scout for young talent to participate in squash games and other related sporting activities.
The pairing tournament will create awareness to the youth in developing their talent to top levels and test the participants’ physical fitness by playing five tough matches.
The tournament which has been running for over 20 years is one of the premier tournaments that are recognized by the Kenya Squash Racket Association but hosted by Nairobi club.
With highly rated local players challenging Zambian residents in the tournament, KSRA will have to scout for more young talent to make the sport more competitive at national level.
Last month, KSRA acquired a new title sponsorship from Zain Kenya after a two year lull for Kenya Open squash tournament.
Zain presented a sponsorship package of Sh800,000 for the tournament in November organized by the professional squash association (PSA) that will showcase more professional players.
The funds from the mobile phone service provider will help KSRA develop the game to professional standards by running improved programmes in the country and make it more popular.