James Willstrop disappointed with lack of squash profile

England squash quarter-finalist James Willstrop has expressed disappointment at the lack of profile in his sport as he continues to defend his men’s singles title at the Commonwealth Games.

Willstrop completely brushed aside Pakistan’s Nasir Iqbal in their Round of 16 at Birmingham University with a 11-6 11-4 11-7 win that took the Englishman one step closer to securing another place on the podium.

Squash faces an ongoing battle for Olympic recognition while Willstrop believes his sport has also been altered in broadcast schedules, making it difficult for friends and family to watch him play.

He told the PA news agency: “We were told we couldn’t criticize anyone, but I’m disappointed.

“I would like to see it (squash) but it is not the case. People are tweeting, why aren’t they on. It should be on, everything else is on like badminton and table tennis.

“I don’t see why we shouldn’t continue. It’s disappointing but we’re used to it. Squash isn’t a big sport, but what matters is that it’s a fabulous place to play squash.

“The crowd was incredible and I know it’s a fact and a good thing to play up front. I have a bunch of people asking if they can watch me and I think the kind of thing we have is a great setup.

The 38-year-old won singles gold at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 to go along with his three silver and two bronze medals.

Despite his hopes of reclaiming a place on the top step of the podium, the Yorkshireman is not getting carried away and is aware of the “fine lines” that can condition the results.

He added: “We’re all hoping for a few medals and we’ve already done that. I’m thinking about it, but I’m four years older than last time and these guys are great players.

“These are incredibly fine lines at the highest level of squash and somehow I guess the best players in the world manage to win the crucial games.”

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