Canary Wharf Classic 'sold out'
PUBLISHED: 10:31 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:31 15 November 2016
Essex squash star Selby among field for big London event
The 2017 Canary Wharf Squash Classic is already a complete sell-out, five months ahead of the world’s top players heading back to London’s favourite tournament.
In a replica of last year’s rush, all tickets were snapped up within five weeks of going on sale.
The tournament takes place at Canary Wharf’s superb East Wintergarden venue from March 6-10 and the stampede for tickets once again highlights the Canary Wharf Classic as London’s most popular squash tournament.
Essex star Daryl Selby is always guaranteed huge vocal support at the East Wintergarden and is in top form at the moment, having beaten world number four Omar Mosaad in the first round of the Qatar Classic on Monday.
The 34-year-old Selby began the season in style, winning the Macau Open, and reached the third round of the recent World Championship in Egypt.
Selby beat 2016 Canary Wharf champion Mathieu Castagnet of France in the second round before falling to Egyptian superstar Ramy Ashour.
Tournament Director Tim Garner, the events director for the PSA World Tour, said: “This brings back memories of a golden era in squash when the British Open was staged at Wembley Conference Centre and sell-out crowds of more than 3,000 were recorded every year.
“As a junior, my job was to open and close the door of the glass court for the players, so that gave me the best seat in the house.”
Garner’s joint promoter Alan Thatcher has just co-authored a book on the legendary champion Jahangir Khan, who won the British Open 10 years in a row (Jahangir Khan: 555, launched this week by Pitch Publishing).
He said: “The success of Canary Wharf creates an atmosphere just like the 1980s, when huge crowds flocked to Wembley as Jahangir dominated the world of squash.
“Jahangir was followed by Jansher Khan (no relation) winning six British Opens until his run was halted by Peter Nicol in 1998.”
Nicol, like Garner a director of promoters Eventis Sports Management, added: “Success goes in cycles. After the domination of Pakistan we have seen a great era for English squash, led by Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, who have won nine Canary Wharf titles between them, and now the rankings are full of Egyptians.
“We had an Egyptian top seed this year in the imposing shape of the hard-hitting Omar Mosaad, but he lost in a brilliant final to Mathieu Castagnet of France.
“With Mohamed Elshorbagy on top of the men’s world rankings, and Karim Abdel Gawad beating Ramy Ashour to win last week’s World Championship final in Cairo, this is clearly a golden era for Egyptian squash.
“They are also showing the same kind of domination in the women’s game, which will make life difficult for other nations for many years to come.”
Garner was in charge of the technical aspects of the tournament in Cairo, and also oversaw the building of the glass court in front of the Great Pyramids when squash returned to possibly the most spectacular venue in the world of sport seven weeks ago.
He added: “It’s wonderful to see squash staging such wonderful tournaments in fantastic settings. The players always enjoy coming to Canary Wharf because there are few things more inspiring than playing in front of a packed arena.
“We are all looking forward to another week of brilliant squash in March as the sport continues to lobby for a deserved place in the Olympic Games.”
Garner announced that the Canary Wharf Classic will again have a waiting list for anyone who has missed out on a ticket.
To join the waiting list, fans can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A limited number of hospitality covers, which enjoy an unprecedented view of the court, are available and details are at Tgarner@eventis-sports.com
See canarywharfsquash.com for full tournament details.