A new event with a prize fund of over $120,000 will take place in Saudi Arabia in December.
The men's professional Squash circuit extends to yet another nation with the announcement that The Saudi International Squash Open will be held in the Saudi Arabia coastal city of Al-Khobar at the end of this year.
The event will be at Super Series Platinum level, the highest rating on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour calendar, and will have a total prize fund of over $120,000. The Saudi International Open will be staged from 30th November to 4 December and will immediately follow another Platinum Super Series event in Qatar, which ends on 27 November.
The initiative has been masterminded by Ziad Al-Turki, a Squash player from Saudi Arabia who has been coached by former international players Brett Martin and Danny Lee. Ziad is Vice-President of the A. A. Turki Group (ATCO), a major international business group operating from Dammam which is supporting the venture in association with the Saudi Government.
"We see countries all around us with different sports tournaments, but not us," explained Al-Turki. "I asked myself why Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, etc, have PSA events, and not us? I realised that it's not government restrictions; it's just that no one has taken that initiative.
"So I did!
"I feel the country is hungry for activities. Our aim is to provide the kingdom with what we hope is an entertaining international event. An event which will both raise awareness of squash in Saudi Arabia, and hopefully also showcase some hidden talents," Al-Turki added.
"Furthermore, we want to raise funds for the Eastern Province Rehabilitation Society - and also increase the public's awareness of the needs of this important charity that helps the handicapped."
Gawain Briars, Chief Executive of the PSA, commented: "The whole Gulf Region is currently experiencing a huge surge in PSA events and this breakthrough into yet another country is particularly satisfying. The event fits in well with the PSA strategy of developing the architecture of the tour to ensure that players travel logically from event to event and the Saudi Arabian Open will be particularly helpful as it slots in perfectly between the Qatar Classic in Doha and the Men's World Team Championship in Pakistan.
"We are delighted with this new venture in Saudi Arabia and congratulate Ziad Al-Turki on his welcome initiative, which brings the number of Super Series events in 2005 to an impressive total of seven."
For more information about ATCO’s efforts for Squash promotion in Saudi Arabia, please click on the below link: