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Top J'cans face US rivals in KPMG Pro Series Squash

Published:Wednesday | November 23, 2016 | 11:00 AM

Jamaica's top-ranked squash players, Chris Binnie and Lewis Walters, will take on rivals from the United States in the KPMG International Squash Series, which is scheduled for December 8-9 at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.

Dubbed 'Yankees vs Yardies', the two-day extravaganza will see local stars Binnie and Walters facing their stiffest competition to date on local soil. The US contingent is comprised of Chris Gordon, currently ranked number 56 by the Professional Squash Association (PSA), and Chris Hanson, who is number 83 in the world.

Binnie, who has dominated the game in Jamaica and the Caribbean for the last eight years, is currently at 76, while Walters is ranked at 110.

Binnie will face off with Hanson on the first day of play, while Walters will be up against Gordon. The players will then trade opponents for another round of matches on day two.

Strong undercard

The event will also feature a strong undercard, which will see Jamaica's number three player, all-rounder Bruce Burrowes, going head-to-head with rising star Julian Morrison.

Burrowes and Morrison will be back in action again in mixed doubles on day two, when they will be paired with 12-time All-Jamaica Ladies Champion Karen Anderson and five-time Caribbean Ladies Champion Marlene West, respectively.

The KPMG series is being staged as a major fundraiser for the Jamaica Squash Association (JSA) as part of an effort to increase financing for its Junior Outreach Programme and also to provide support for Jamaica's professional squash players. Binnie, Walters and Morrison currently compete on the PSA circuit, which involves travel, accommodation, medical and coaching expenses.

"We are very excited about our professional squash series because it will expose local fans and newcomers to the game to an extraordinarily high standard of squash," said president of the JSA, Chris Hind.

"Chris and Lewis are the top two players in the Caribbean, but, in general, they don't get a lot of strong competition on local soil; so we look forward to seeing them do battle with other world-ranked professional players, who will definitely test their skills."

The KPMG International Squash Series is also sponsored by Supreme Ventures, BCIC and the Liguanea Club.

Tickets are on sale at the Liguanea Club at a cost of $1,500 for children, $3,000 for adults and $5,000 for VIP packages, which include food and beverages. Persons purchasing tickets for both nights can get two children's tickets for $2,500, two adult tickets for $5,000 and two VIP passes for $8,000. Interested persons can call 371-0476.