RAMACHANDRAN SUCCEEDS JAHANGIR KHAN AS WSF PRESIDENT

The meeting, held in the English city during the Hi-Tec World Squash Championships - the first joint staging of the Men's and Women's World Opens in the UK - was also attended by WSF Patron HRH Prince Tunku Imran and Emeritus President Susie Simcock.
 
Currently the Secretary General of the Squash Rackets Federation of India and President of the Asian Squash Federation, Ramachandran succeeds the retiring Jahangir Khan - the legendary former player from Pakistan who has competed his maximum six-year tenure - after alternative English candidate Chris Stahl withdrew his nomination, stating that his rival was the 'best man for the job'.
 
"I am humbled by this wonderful appointment as President of the World Squash Federation and look forward to working closely with all 144 of our Member National Federations," said Ramachandran.  "In the short term, I will be working towards the pursuit and fulfilment of our Olympic dream for Squash and ensuring that we continue our promotion and development of the sport worldwide."
 
In elections for the three Vice Presidents which followed, Heather Deayton (Hong Kong) and Gerard DeCourcy (New Zealand) retained their positions on the board, while Chris Stahl took the third position following the last-minute withdrawal of current VP and fellow European Frank van Loon (Netherlands).
 
In paying tribute to the departing Dutchman, Gerard DeCourcy said:  "It has been a privilege to work with you, Frank.  You have done an outstanding job."
 
Mr Ramachandran also complimented his predecessor on the contribution he had made as President, particularly in driving the sport's Olympic campaign.  "It is a great pleasure to welcome you as Emeritus President of the WSF and I hope you will continue to work with us in our Olympic bid," said the new President to Jahangir Khan.
 
Earlier, in one of the most controversial issues handled at an AGM in recent years, the delegates voted overwhelmingly to adopt a new universal 'Point A Rally' scoring system for Squash, to 11 points per game - as is currently the case in the professional game for both men and women.  The sport's new official scoring system will come into effect from 1 April 2009.
 
The subject had earlier caused considerable debate, with delegates calling for the Federation to show leadership - particularly in view of the sport's Olympic aspirations - to move to the scoring system which was not only enhancing the appeal of elite squash, but had already been universally adopted in a number of countries around the world. 
 
In addition, delegates unanimously elected Cayman Islands and Trinidad & Tobago to full membership of the WSF, while Georgia, FYR Macedonia, Romania, Lesotho and Bolivia were welcomed as Associate Members.
 
Decisions on the hosting of future World Championships was also made at the AGM:  New Zealand will stage the 2010 World Women's Team Championships, while India will now stage the 2009 World Junior Men's Individual Championship alongside the World Junior Women's Individual and Team Championships.
 
Issued by Howard Harding on behalf of WSF

Mr N Ramachandran has become the first Indian President of the World Squash Federation after being elected to the position at the Federation's 38th Annual General Meeting in Manchester.