Squash Team World Championships 2013: Fixtures, Draw, Dates, Teams and More
Two-time defending champion Egypt enters the 24th WSF Men's World Team Championship as the No. 1 seed with the hopes of making it three titles in a row in the biennial competition.
They'll make that attempt against a stacked field of teams from 32 nations and all five continents. This includes two newcomers to the tournament: Botswana and Poland.
The 32 teams will be broken up into eight pools all taking place in Mulhouse as France will host this tournament for the first time.
Pool play begins on Sunday, June 9 and concludes on Tuesday, June 11. From there, it is four straight days of playoffs until the champ is crowned on Sunday.
Egypt sits at the top of Pool A. The top seeds of the other pools are England, France, Australia, Malaysia, Germany, South Africa and India.
Check out the vitals and then I'll take a look at the top teams.
When: June 9-15
Where: Espace Squash 3000 Centre and the Palais Des Sports, in Mulhouse, France
Rosters: View the full rosters here
Pool A:  Egypt,  Scotland, [17/20] Kuwait, [29/32] Kenya
Pool B:  England,  Canada, [17/20] Colombia, [29/32] Namibia
Pool C:  France,  Pakistan, [17/20] Netherlands, [29/32] Russia
Pool D:  Australia,  Mexico, [17/20] Switzerland
Pool E:  Malaysia,  New Zealand, [21/24] Botswana, [25/28] Poland
Pool F:  Germany,  USA, [21/24] Ireland, [25/28] Czech Republic
Pool G:  South Africa,  Hong Kong China, [21/24] Austria, [25/28] Japan
Pool H:  India,  Finland, [21/24] Argentina, [25/28] Venezuela
Check out the full schedule and bracket on the event's official website.
Sunday, June 9: Qualifying matches
Monday, June 10: Qualifying matches
Tuesday, June 11: Qualifying matches
Wednesday, June 12: Round 1 and overall ranking matches
Thursday, June 13: Quarterfinals
Friday, June 14: Semifinals
Saturday, June 15: Final
With world No. 1, Ramy Ashour leading Egypt into this competition, they are going to be tough to beat. Ashour is fresh off a big win in the British Open that ended a serious drought for his country.
Squash Pictures tweets more on the subject:
While Ashour deservedly gets top billing on this team, he is not a one-man show. Egypt will feature four players in the top 11 of the world rankings: Karim Darwish (5), Tarek Momen (10) and Omar Mosaad (11).
If they do defend their title, it be their fourth championship since 1999.
England, who were the runners-up to Egypt in 2011, have a great shot at turning the tables this year.
World No. 3 James Willstrop and No. 4 Nick Matthew give this squad a powerful one-two punch. They will be joined by Daryl Selby (14) and Adrian Grant (24). This is a strong foursome, but one of these guys will likely have to find a way to take down Ashour. Willstrop appears ready.
While this tournament is in France, he will be comfortable:
Quick thanks for some of the messages over the last few weeks ... World teams next, looking forward to getting to Mulhouse, a home from home— James Willstrop (@james_willstrop) June 3, 2013
England is always tough in this tournament, and they've been excellent here in recent history. Not only were they second in 2011, they won in 2005 and 2007.
Hosts France is still looking for their first title here, but they were runners-up in 2003 and 2009. Playing in front of their home fans, this team is primed to make history.
World No. 2 Gregory Gaultier leads a team featuring Gregoire Marche (29), Mathieu Castagnet (30) and Thierry Lincou. The 37-year-old Lincou has retired from the international circuit, but he is a former world No. 1 and will undoubtedly be a tough foe at this tournament.
Still, it is Gaultier who will have to lead this team. This will be his eighth straight World Team Championship, and he's been great in the past. Gaultier has won 26 or his 34 matches in this competition.
Still, not even Gaultier has what it takes to beat Ashour if the No. 1 is on his game. Ashour is fresh off his 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 victory over Gaultier in the British Open final.
Perhaps France will ride their homes fans to an upset victory?
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