England has been one of the top squash-playing countries, having won the World junior boys’ team championships four times and reaching the final on five occasions. But the last time it reached the summit clash was way back in 2002. A lot has changed since then.

England will be looking to bag its fifth crown when it takes on overwhelming favourite Egypt at the EA Mall here on Sunday.

England has had a smooth run so far and it was no different on Saturday as it crushed USA 3-0 in the semifinals. In the other last four contest, Egypt thrashed Czech Republic 3-0 to make its eighth successive final.

England’s Nicholas Wall, James Wyatt and Sam Todd and Marwan Tarek, Mostafa Asal and Omar El Torkey for Egypt went about their jobs with minimum fuss while demolishing their opponents.

Unfavourable record

While Egypt is talked about as an unstoppable force, there is a minor statistic that it has to contend with. It’s head-to-head record against England in finals is on the negative side. Egypt has defeated England only once (1994), while losing thrice in the summit clash – 1996, 1998 & 2000.

England coach Lee Drew admitted that Egypt will be feeling confident going into the final, but said his boys would fight for every point.

“Egypt has been a dominant force in squash for a long time, especially in juniors. But our team spirit has been great.

“I am looking forward [to the final]. Ours is a young team. We have nothing to lose. We are the underdogs,” he said.

The fact that England has a 3-1 head-to-head record didn’t mean much to Drew. “We haven’t played them for a while [18 years ago].

“They have the top four seeds. They can take huge credit [for what they have achieved].

“Let’s see if we can put up a great performance. It’s about challenging,” he said. Drew said the best thing about his team was that the boys are relaxed and playing great squash at the same time.

“That psychology and mentality has been the reason [for the team’s good show]. It’s a final and anything can happen.”

Egypt has dominated the championships like no other. In fact, it hasn’t lost a game leave alone a match in the team event so far.

The North African nation has reached 12 finals and won the crown five times. Only Pakistan and Australia have done it as many times.

The results (semifinals):

Egypt bt Czech Republic 3-0 (Marwan Tarek bt Viktor Byrtus 11-8, 11-5, 11-4; Mostafa Asal bt Ondrej Vorlicek 11-8, 11-4, 11-2; Omar El Torkey bt Marek Panacek 11-3, 11-7).

England bt USA 3-0 (Nicholas Wall bt Daelum Mawji 11-5, 11-8, 11-5; James Wyatt bt Thomas Rosini 11-4, 11-8, 11-7; Sam Todd bt Ayush Menon 5-11, 11-3, 11-2)
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