NAIROBI, October 27 – Twenty three professional players from 12 countries will take part in this year’s Zain Kenya Open Squash tournament scheduled for November 16-22.
Players from as far as England, South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, Austria, Ireland, Spain and India will battle it out in the affair for honours.
Others that have confirmed participation in the tournament hail from France, Egypt, Iran and USA.
The main draw has 12 players, four from England, two from South Africa and France while Austria, Spain and India have one each.
Four professional players from Egypt, two from Nigeria and one player each from Italy, Iran, South Africa and USA will all take part in the qualification draw that has 11 players.
Stephen Coppinger from Russia is the highest ranked player at position 77 in the world with Arthur Gaskin from Ireland at position 107, France’s Yann Perrin at position 114 and Tom Pashley from England ranked at position 115.
Others are India’s Siddharth Suchde at position 120, David Vidal from Spain at position 123, Russia’s Clinton Leeuw and England’s Chris Truswell both ranked at position 124 and 127 respectively.
Coppinger who was a resident in Kenya where he played in his youth has extraordinary relationship with Kenyan fans that are eager to see his stable rise.
Also in the ranks are the Egyptians who dominate the world squash both at the junior and senior levels will be led by Karim Sammy ranked at position 166, Andrew Wagih Shoukry at 223 and Basem Makram at 239 will have to qualify for the main draw.
They will be challenged by 15 Kenyan amateur players led by Hardeep Reel, Otto Kwach, Rajdeep Bains, Hartaj Bains, Leon Keya alongside the Zambian duo of Prince Mukuka and Mordecai Kabamba.
The qualification draw which is reserved for the limited four slots is expected to be too competitive as the players will fight to claim ranking points and prize money in the main draw.
Part time players and some foreign entrants from Nigeria, Uganda and DRC Congo will play in a separate event whose entries close on November 8th.
The tournament has been sponsored by Zain Kenya to a tune of Sh800,000 after a two year lull in the Kenya Open Squash event.