The PSA World Tour will return in March when the world’s best male and female squash players line up at the Black Ball Sporting Club in Cairo to compete for the 2021 CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open, PSA Platinum titles between March 12 – 25, 2021.
48 men and 48 women will compete for $350,000 in equal prize money split across both divisions in what will be the opening PSA World Tour event of 2021 and the first since December’s edition of the CIB Black Ball PSA Squash Open, which was a PSA Gold tournament. The women’s tournament will be held between Friday March 12 – Thursday March 18, with the men’s following from Friday March 19 – Thursday March 25.
England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Egypt’s Fares Dessouky are the defending champions after they both achieved incredible comebacks from 2-0 down against World No.5 Hania El Hammamy and World No.1 Ali Farag, respectively, in December’s finals.
“We are delighted to kick off our PSA World Tour calendar for 2021 in Egypt and I look forward to watching all of our athletes during what promises to be two exciting and unpredictable weeks in Cairo. I’d like to thank Mohamed Raef, Ahmed El Abd and their team at the Black Ball Sporting Club for their hard work in making this tournament possible.” said PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough.
“Thanks to CIB’s incredible support of squash – which has been integral to our relaunch of the tour against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic – we are pleased to see that this instalment of the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open will be a Platinum event, which means an increase in prize money, while the increased draw size will result in more playing opportunities for our players.
“Given the inability to stage events in the United States at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions, we are starting 2021 differently than in previous years. However, we are glad to report that the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open will be the precursor to a regular schedule of PSA World Tour events and I look forward to sharing our full calendar in the coming weeks.”
CEO of Black Ball Sporting Club and Tournament Director, Mohamed Raef, said: “It's our pleasure at the Black Ball Sporting Club to continue our success story with our valued partners, CIB & PSA. I'm so happy to bring the tournament up to Platinum level.
“Thank you to CIB for the incredible support as usual, especially within the pandemic situation. We are looking forward to have another amazing event.”
Commercial International Bank (CIB) Chief Executive and Board Member, Hussein Abaza, said: “CIB is proud to sponsor such an esteemed sporting event that includes the best squash players in the world, and we remain committed to continuing our support of sports in Egypt given its positive effect on the Egyptian youth. This includes our encouragement and support of Egypt’s young squash champions who have become a source of national pride for their achievements and their international rankings.
“We recognise the importance of this tournament in reinforcing Egypt’s position as an international squash hub and I look forward to witnessing an exciting competition.”
Action from the CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open will be shown live on SQUASHTV and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan). The semi-finals and finals will also be shown live on the channels of contracted broadcast partners.
The CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open will be held in accordance with strict COVID-19 protocols. All players and staff will be tested prior to travelling to the tournaments before taking a further test upon arrival. Once a negative result has been received, that person will then be allowed to enter the tournament bubble, with further testing every four days during the tournament.