Pool B:  Egypt,  New Zealand, [13/18] Germany, [19/22] Iran
There’s absolutely no reason why Egypt can’t
win this. England are stronger on paper and have a much greater record,
but a team of Shabana, Darwish, Abbas and El Hindi should be capable
of beating any team if they all fire.
Egypt has won this event once, in 1999, but their performance in 2003
was a bit lacklustre and they were more like a team of champions than
a champion team. Hopefully Shabana’s spectacular display of squash
to win the World Open has lit a fire in the team’s belly.
needs to be noted that the 9 scoring system favours players like Peter
Nicol and Thierry Lincou whose consistency means they’re
only usually every giving away hand-outs, and not points, whereas players
like Shabana and Darwish have more success with the point-a-rally scoring
system where you’re rewarded for your attacking play.
Iran is making its World Teams debut and should value the experience
they gain from the event and concentrate on not getting zipped.
means the real crux of this pool is New Zealand versus Germany. Iran
won’t beat either of them, and the kiwis and die Deutschen
won’t beat Egypt and shouldn’t strain a muscle trying (anyone
interpreting that statement as defeatist and negative is really looking
at the small picture – a valiant attempt to beat Egypt may be wonderfully
executed but will only ensure the players are worn down and less likely
of finishing second in the pool, meaning wasted effort on Egypt guarantees
the best possible result is only 13. The statement also doesn’t
mean they should just concede against Egypt either – but diving
for balls and running until you pass out won’t help the team).
Zealand is the second of three teams that have been present at every
championship. They came second twice in the eighties, but finished
17th at the most recent events in Vienna and Melbourne. A victory over
Germany will get them back towards the top ten, but two of their main
players over the past decade – Glen Wilson and Daniel Sharplin – have
both hung up the tournament towel and now coach. With three new players
in the team they have an average ranking of 113. Germany’s average
is over 150 so New Zealand goes into the pool as favourites to finish
players, like Guinness, don’t always travel well. Their
rankings don’t necessarily reflect their strength or consider how
parochial the German squash community can be, meaning good players don’t
travel enough to PSA tournaments to have a ranking that is representative
of their standard.
Germany has three new players in the team to attempt to better their
best result of 8, and their Vienna placing of 16.
finishing first is a given here, but I’m
going to go out on a limb and put Germany down for an upset for second
Wael El Hendi
Mohammed Hossein Sanaee
Paya Ahmed Abadi
Mohammad Hossein Jafari
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