One of the many emerging sports in India, squash has reached a stage where the Indian athletes have become serious contenders for laurels in international competitions. The presence of senior players like Saurav Ghosal has helped the sport immensely and paved the way for the next generation of youngsters to take up the game.
While Saurav Ghosal is one of the most dedicated and highly decorated Indian squash players of all-time, he is yet to receive the recognition he deserves from the fans. The 35-year-old has won laurels in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and a host of other events, but is still a mystery to many Indian enthusiasts. Let’s take a look at who Saurav Ghosal is and how he became the player he is today.
Born on August 10, 1986, in Kolkata, West Bengal, Saurav finished his schooling from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy. It was at this time when he began playing squash at the Calcutta Racquet Club from a young age.
After completing his schooling, he moved to Chennai to enrol at the ICL squash academy, where he was coached by Major (Rtd) Maniam and Cyrus Poncha. Ghosal began participating at age group tournaments from this time, and soon became the first Indian to hold the junior world no. 1 spot. His early success also included winning the junior National Championship three consecutive years. However, he first came into attention in 2002, when he won the German Open in May. While the German Open (U-17) was his first major title, he went on to win the Dutch Open only two months later.
Saurav Ghosal turned professional in 2003 and three years later, in December, 2006, he became the first-ever Indian to win a squash medal at the Asian Games in Doha. He entered the top 10 of the world in 2019, which was a momentous occasion for Indian squash lovers.
Often considered as one of the Indian squash greats, Ghosal has been the first to many records in his career. He became the first-ever Indian player to reach the quarterfinals of the World Championship in 2013. The next year, he won the silver medal in the Incheon Asian Games and became the first-ever Indian player to touch the milestone. Ghosal also led the Indian squash team to its first-ever gold medal at the Asian Games in the 2014 edition. He is also the first Indian to win the Malaysian Open. The 35-year-old also won a bronze medal in Commonwealth Games 2022.
One of the most senior players in India, Ghosal has played and won medals in the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Doubles Championships, South Asian Games and Asian Individual Championships.
He was named as the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Men’s President in December 2021, apart from being an Arjuna Award winner.