Squash: James Willstrop column JAN 11

Having not written my column in December, I thought the best way to start the new year would be to reflect on last month's squash highlights.

December is typically a tough month and 2010 was no exception, in which stood three major events: the two biggest PSA events of the year, the World Open in Saudi Arabia, and the Punj Lloyd PSA masters in Delhi – which came at the end of a long stretch of tournaments reaching back to early August – and the World Women's Team Championship in New Zealand.

Despite some nasty injuries to major movers in the men's world top 10, it was a successful month for England squash players. Nick Matthew and myself found ourselves contesting the World Championship final, making history by it being the first ever to be played out by two Englishmen (and Yorkshiremen).

Essex boy Peter Barker also reached the semis, to give England three semi-finalists.

More success came for England when the women reached the final of the World Team Championships, only narrowly losing to Australia, and Nick Matthew and Jenny Duncalf won the men's and women's titles in Delhi.

This wasn't enough to rouse the press, I am afraid. In the immediate aftermath of the World Championship final, Adam Pope at BBC Radio Leeds was the only taker for an interview (I hope Nick received a little more attention), and this nods to such poor promotion of the game, slightly more than it does to this country's media (some of whom would be interested if only they knew), though it is a little of both.

The BBC of course documented none of it and were pitiful whilst pandering to the usual sports in the Sports Personality of the Year show, which has become as predictable as death itself.

Perhaps "BBC 'past times and board games' personality of the year" might be more appropriate than 'sports'; to think that a darts player can take second place before Nick Matthew after his achievements this year is a crazy injustice, and must, to any sports fan, render this programme obsolete.

Not many athletes could achieve world number one status, win two Commonwealth golds and become world champion in one year and still be deprived of a nomination, but I suspect Nick did not even get mentioned, which can only mean that the BBC can't be bothered to do any research.

Despite this lack of exposure the sport lives on, and January is one of the most exciting months of the year; the World Series Finals, featuring the world's top eight, take place in London this week, followed by the spectacular TOC tournament in Grand Central Station in

New York.

Elland Road.

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