A brand new event format, reflecting the open draw style of English football’s prestigious FA Cup, will be launched by the PSA this week in Kuwait.
The Kuwait PSA Cup will feature the top 48 players in the world – but the draw for the quarter-finals will not be made until the last 16 round has been completed.
The event, from 23-29 November, is being held to honour the 50th anniversary of the sovereign Arab state of Kuwait, and will be staged under the patronage of HH Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jal Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait. The players will be competing for the HH Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al-Sabah Trophy, created in honour of the late Patriarch Amir of Kuwait.
“The top eight players in the PSA world rankings are so close today that matches between them are often too close to call,” said PSA Chief Operating Officer Lee Beachill.
“Without at this stage making the complete draw open, we wanted to introduce some variety in the final stage of one of our major events – squash fans want to see different line-ups from those that fixed draws often set up.
“We feel the 48 draw format really highlights the tremendous depth currently on the PSA World Tour and with players from 21 different countries all competing in Kuwait, I don’t think our top 50 has ever been so universal.
“Kuwait really wanted a showcase event and I think the Kuwait PSA Cup delivers just that,” added the former world number one. “A unique draw format, the very best players in the world, and the added twist of a random draw for the quarter-final line ups.”
The quarter-final draw will be made at a Gala Dinner in Kuwait on a rest day once the line-up has been resolved – with the highest-ranked player drawing his opponent, then the next drawing his, etc, until the following day’s schedule is confirmed.
The Kuwait PSA Cup, which boasts a $165,000 prize fund, will be the eighth PSA World Series event of the year. A further unique feature will be that the top 16 seeds will receive a bye in the first round.
Jahangir Khan, the record ten-time British Open champion who is the event’s vice chairman, added: “The Kuwait PSA Cup will be a major event in Kuwait as the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence in 1961.
“It will also be a tribute to Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah, who has personally done so much to raise the profile of squash in Kuwait.”
Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah, daughter of the Patriarch Amir HH Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al-Sabah, is the event’s Chairman. The Sheikha has played a major role in supporting squash in Kuwait over the past ten years, and is currently responsible for five men’s and women’s events each year.
Kuwait PSA Cup 1st round draw:
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bye
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Chris Ryder (ENG) v Aaron Frankcomb (AUS)
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) bye
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bye
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Borja Golan (ESP)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bye
 Thierry Lincou (FRA) bye
Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Robbie Temple (ENG)
Tarek Momen (EGY) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bye
 Alister Walker (BOT) bye
Mark Krajcsak (HUN) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
 James Willstrop (ENG) bye
 Amr Shabana (EGY) bye
Simon Rosner (GER) v Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY)
Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
 Stewart Boswell (AUS) bye
 Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bye
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) v Martin Knight (NZL)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bye
 Peter Barker (ENG) bye
Jan Koukal (CZE) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
 Adrian Grant (ENG) bye
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) bye
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) v Max Lee (HKG)
Mohammed Abbas (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
 Karim Darwish (EGY) bye
Full coverage on: www.squashsite.co.uk/kuwaitcup