Malaysia will host the next three editions of the Women’s World Squash Championship, the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) has announced.
Awarding one country the rights to three consecutive tournaments represents a first in the event's history.
Launched in conjunction with the World Squash Federation (WSF), the Women's World Squash Championship will see the 23 top-ranked players in the world alongside the eight players who make it through the World Championship Qualifying Competition, plus an organisers' wildcard choice, compete for the biggest prize in the sport in the Asian nation.
The likes of home favourite Nicol David, who etched her name into the record books in February by becoming the longest-reigning top-ranked player in the world after she made it 106 months at the summit of women’s squash, is one of the top names who are expected to compete.Malaysia has held the Championships on three previous occasions, at Petaling in 1996, Kuala Lumpur in 2004 and Penang in 2013, an event actually held in 2014 after the WSA had failed to find a city willing to host the event.
WSA chief executive Tommy Burden is looking forward to the tournaments coming to Malaysia, starting with this year's competition, which is due to take place from December 11 to 18.
“We are excited to be returning to Malaysia, a country with a successful history in the sport,” he said.
“It was crucial for us to create some stability and continuity for our pinnacle event and we are delighted to be hosting the Women’s World Championship for three years in Asia, which is a very important market for squash.
“Squash continues to make huge growth in its appeal across a wide range of audiences and we will be working closely with the promoters to look at every component of the event.
“Strategies are being put in place to design something very special and I believe, given the venue - which will be announced shortly and is unique - we have the foundations to put on a great show and set a new benchmark for the sport.”
The 2015 tournament will also be the first to take place under the newly-formed merger of the WSA and Professional Squash Association (PSA), with more details, including sponsors, players and partners, all set to be released in the coming months.
Squash is one of the sports vying for inclusion on the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020, although they face stiff competition from the likes of baseball/softball, surfing, karate, cue sports and roller sports.The International Olympic Committee are due to make a decision on whether any sports will be added at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro next year.