NSL kicks off with Dramatic Draft Weekend

The National Squash League is officially under way after a dramatic weekend in Nashville featuring the World v USA match and the Player Draft.

The wait came to an end on Friday evening as six of the world’s top players took to the court in the first real test of the NSL’s unique format and scoring system.

Representing the (rest of the) World were France’s Victor Crouin, Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim and India’s Ramit Tandon. The home team were represented by national champions Timmy Brownell and Andrew Douglas alongside Spencer Lovejoy, one of the NSL founders alongside Brownell.

The first period started with Crouin against Brownell and substitutions saw all six players used, ending when the 20 minutes were up with Lovejoy v Tandon and 22-15 lead for Team USA as they took the first point.

The second period kicked off with Brownell up against Ibrahim with USA jumping out to an 11-3 lead, but with two minutes left on the clock it was Lovejoy v Crouin and 19-points each! Crouin took the vital last points to make it 25-22 to the World and it was one point all and down to the decisive 30-minute third quarter.

Brownell and Ibrahim were again first up, but amid more substitutions neither team could make a clean break with the scores remaining a point or two apart right up to the final two minutes. Brownell, facing Crouin at the death, edged out to leads of 27-24 and 28-26, but in a dramatic finale the Frenchman closed the gap, taking the last two points and as the clock ran down it was 28-all !!

It all came down to one final point, and as Brownell glued a drive to the side wall for a USA 29-28 win the clock ran out, the buzzer sounded and Timmy, the team and the crowd erupted – it couldn’t have been scripted better!

Watch the replay at the bottom of the page

The Draft

The next evening it was time for the teams to select their players for the coming season, four pick each from the pool of 40 players in a reverse snake format.

The first player chosen, by the Atlanta Tornados, was a delighted Youssef Ibrahim.

The draft continued, and by the end of the evening the teams were settled.

Ibrahim was joined on the Tornados’ roster by former US Champion Todd Harrity, Englishman Tom Walsh and the final pick, Argentina’s Jeremias Azana.

Tandon and Lovejoy were snapped up for the top of the Newport Dragons’ order, while Brownell leads a multinational Nashville Crushers outfit and Doouglas was the top pick for the Chicago Grizzlies.

Crouin, the highest ranked player in the pool, will represent Derby City (Louisville), with New York Knights’ top pick being another Frenchman in Auguste Dussourd.

Let the season begin

There will be six matches in the regular season, and it will be back to Atlanta for the first of them on 26th April for the visit of Derby City (Louisville) … stay tuned !!!

The Draft Replay

Team v USA Replay