World no.11 Mohd Azlan, Ritwik for Mah Open Squash Tourney

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Mumbai, Sep 10 (UNI) Squash action returns to the Bombay Gymkhana courts, as the 33rd Bombay Gymkhana-HSBC Maharashtra State Open Squash Championships, will be held here from September 13 to 19.

HSBC has a very old relationship with this tournament, and along with the Bombay Gymkhana will play host to perhaps the strongest men's field seen in the city for a very long time.

The tournament, co-sponsored by Sapat and Westside, will have the added attraction due to the participation of world number Mohammed Azlan Iskandar from Malaysia.

Trying to halt the progress of Azlan will be the five time National champion Ritwik Bhattacharya, who has trained with Azlan for several years.

Other names that make up the strong field are the World Number 101 Mohammed Asyraf Azan from Malaysia, two former Indian National champions Manish Chotrani and Akhil Behl, the Number 1 junior in the country Vikram Malhotra and the Professional champion A Parthiban from Chennai.

The total prize money is more than Rs six lakh, with the winner's purse likely to be in excess of 2500 dollar, making it the largest in the tournament's history. The women's champion will be richer by Rs 50,000, it was announced at a press conference here today.

On the women's side, Joshna Chinappa, the eight-time National champion has rescheduled some of her commitments to play this event, with the young Dipika Palikkal, who has won several European titles and performed creditably on the World stage challenging her.

Mandy Kennedy, a former winner of this event, who has figured prominently at most of the local tournaments, and Saumya Karki should add something extra to the event as will Jaipur's Surbhi Mishra.

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