There’s more turmoil among Australia’s Commonwealth Games squash team as it emerges that the third-ranked Donna Urquhart was been pulled from the singles competition – only days before it’s due to begin – and replaced by the daughter of Squash Australia director Vicki Cardwell.
Ms Urquhart is ranked 25th in the world. She recently beat fellow teammate and world no. 15 Rachel Grinham to win the Victorian Open, making it seemingly hard to justify her replacement by Sarah Cardwell, the squad’s reserve player and ranked world no. 54.
Donna Urquhart’s reportedly engaged lawyer and head of NSW Squash Chris Barnes to fight the decision. Mr Barnes told Fairfax Ms Cardwell was originally included in the side as an injury cover, but when management was told they couldn’t take a non-playing member, Ms Urquhart was cut instead:
“They sat her down and said ‘actually we’re now going to pull you out of the singles’. And the reason was that they stuffed up and didn’t realise that they couldn’t take a player over who wasn’t going to play in an event… At that stage Sarah Cardwell was the reserve but they told (Urquhart) they were putting her in the singles instead, even though she’s ranked massively below Donna and Donna had beaten her about two days beforehand.”
The section manager of the Commonwealth Games squash team, Gordon Young, said Urquhart had been withdrawn from the singles so she could focus on the doubles.
Image via MANAN VATSYAYANA for AFP