The Global Gallery: Views on the world of squash by Martin Bronstein

Special: Peter Marshall’s conundrum

Global Gallery Number Twelve: Nov 11, 1999   ©1999 SquashTalk

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Read the past Global Gallery Columns:

[#Eleven, Nov 4, 1999]      [#Ten, Oct 4, 1999]      [#Nine, Sept 12, 1999]      [#Eight, Aug 3, 1999]      [#Seven, July 5, 1999]     [#Six, June 9, 1999]     [#Five, June 6, 1999 (Power/Nicol head-to-head)]     [#Four, May 5, 1999]     [#Three, May 2, 1999]     [#Two, April 2, 1999]    [# One, March 8, 1999]

November 1999, London England

It’s all in the timing

Fate is not being kind to Peter Marshall, the unique two-hander who got to number two in the world before chronic fatigue syndrome put him out for two years.

At the World Open two years ago, he astonished everybody by beating Brett Martin, Dan Jenson and Jonathon Power to get to the quarter finals before going out to the eventual winner, Rodney Eyles. But the effort was too much too soon and that put him out for another two years.

He monitored his recovery carefully and felt confident that he was read for the Open this year in Cairo only, tragically, to wrench his back badly in the qualifying rounds causing him to pull out.

But he recovered and in Detroit at the end of October he proved this by winning the Motor City Open, where, unseeded, he beat Paul Price, Lee Beachill, Graham Ryding and David Palmer.

US Open and British Open

His attempt to play both the US and British Opens was spoiled by timing: the two events are just too close together.

To start at the beginning, a promoter has the privilege of naming four ‘local qualifiers’ and both Marshall and Jansher Khan were nominated for the US Open by Angus Kirkland. (As usual, Jansher’s future actions are known only to those who study tea-leaves and the Runes).

Meanwhile Marshall did not know whether he would get a wild card into the British open or have to qualify. If he didn’t get a wild card, it would mean going into a 64 draw qualifying event which starts three or four days before the main event (December 7th). So Peter was in a predicament: if he accepted Kirkland’s ‘local qualifier’ offer and got to the later rounds of the US Open which ends on December 3, it would overlap the qualifying rounds of the British Open. Marshall decided not to take the gamble and refused Kirkland’s offer.

Wildcard entry came too late

He later learned that he had been given a wild card into the British Open, but, according to the rules, he could not now accept the local qualifier spot once it had been refused. And a player is allowed just one wild card a year. But Peter Marshall is a very determined character and I won’t be the least bit surprised to see him back in the top ten this time next year.


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page posted 11.11.99