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Liverpool’08
"Squash Venues"

    

May
4,
2006: by Dan Kneipp (kah-nipe)      

[See also: Liverpool
Draw
and Liverpool Day
Two
Final
]

saudi intl
The Liverpool08 Open Main Venue

It’s
easy to have particular expectations around a big sporting event and
what is a befitting venue of an important event. I remember the first
time I watched a game of tennis at the Australian Open on a back court.
It felt like I was watching a couple of mates hit a ball back and forth,
and was
certainly not at one of the biggest tennis tournament, where one of these
blokes could go on to win a Major.

That
was the case for today’s
match. The glass court has been erected in the
magnificent St George’s Hall, and playing on that court would have
given an
appropriate sense of it being a major event, but Joe’s match today
was
scheduled at the ‘Liverpool Cricket Club’.

So before we arrived in England I went online to see what I could find
out
about the club and what to expect. The beauty of the internet meant within
a
minute I knew Joe would be on a normal glass-backed club court. The other
information I gleaned from the Liverpool Cricket Club’s website
included
this write-up on their squash section:

“I
am Finance Chairman, webmaster and a drinking member of this club,
and I know very little about squash. So come on people. Give me
some information.

Apparently my efforts at describing the sport were not appreciated
by the squashers. So I’m sure that someone in the section will soon
give me better information than that which I’ve been able to dig
out. I once played squash and my opponent got a calf strain. But
squash is not about two people chasing a rubber ball around inside
a box, trying to get a calf strain.

It’s
a good game. And watching squash is much more interesting than
watching paint dry. Much more interesting indeed. So they tell
me.”

I
wasn’t sure if I found this funny or insulting.
I tend to work off the
premise that anyone who doesn’t think squash is the greatest
game ever has
something profoundly wrong with them, until they prove otherwise. (Although
I’m okay with “Squash is a brilliant game, I prefer ……,
but squash is
great”.)

So I was unsure about what to expect from the Liverpool Cricket Club.
Looking closer at the Liverpool Cricket Club’s website I found
this write-up
about their bowls club:

"The bowls section is possibly the most vibrant in the club. Which
is astonishing considering that all the members seem to be so very,
very old."

So the website guy is just funny.

Which brings me back to playing at venues that give you no sense of
the
event’s magnitude.

Joe played Peter Barker at 12:00 at the club. There were maybe five
people
watching. It didn’t even feel like a training match with a sports
drink on
the line, and certainly not a very important match. This has happened
before
at World Open events where the early rounds were on a normal court. It
just
doesn’t feel like a major. It was, and Barker won comfortably.

Liverpool
Cricket Club’s squash facilities might
not match the grandeur of
the glass court at St George’s hall, but they have lawn tennis
courts, some
bowls greens and a beautiful cricket pitch. An afternoon playing lawn
bowls
(on a crown green for the first time for any bowls and squash afficiandos
out there – great fun) and watching some local cricket while eating
lunch on
the club’s balcony in the sun was a reasonable way to forget about
losing
the squash match. It isn’t necessarily bad being at a different
venue.


Kneipp’s
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