Squash is a sport played with a racket and ball where two players or four (in case of doubles) alternate in striking the ball on to the four walls. The objective while playing squash is to ensure that you hit the ball in such a way that your opponent is unable to make a valid return shot.
Barbados TODAY will feature some of Barbados’ outstanding squash players over the next couple of days. In today’s edition is Khamal Cumberbatch who was born into the sport through his father Monty Cumberbatch, a former national player and past president of the Barbados Squash Association.
Name: Khamal Cumberbatch
Age: 18 years old
What school do you attend?
Just graduated from Avon Old Farms in Connecticut, USA, have made the Dean’s list and I have been accepted to attend Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
At what age did you begin to play squash?
I started playing at age 5.
What or who inspired you to play squash?
I was inspired by my three brothers, who all represented Barbados in squash.
How many days a week do you normally spend training?
In season I train six days a week.
Who is your coach? And where do you train?
Overseas coaches – At Avon Old Farms was Josh Cardwell and at Trinity College, Rick Penders and the head coach is Paul Assaiante. The Barbadian coach is Rhett Cumberbatch and we play at the Barbados Squash Club.
At what regional or international tournaments have you represented Barbados?
I have been representing Barbados in the Junior Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) from 2011 and I am the reigning CASA Under 19 champion, having won 7 titles during the period 2013 – 2019.
I also represented Barbados at the Senior CASA championships from 2016 to present, currently playing # 2 on the national team.
I have also represented Barbados at the international level:
2018 at the Junior Pan Am Championship in Brasilia, Brazil.
2018 at Senior Pan Am in the Cayman Islands.
2018 at the XX111 CAC Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.
2019 at the Junior Pan Am Squash Championships in Toronto, Canada, where I played mixed doubles with Meagan Best and we won the gold medal.
Are you right or left-handed?
I am right-handed, but I can hit a decent ball with my left hand.
What is your favourite shot?
Forehand straight drop.
Who is your favourite squash player?
Ali Farag – Egyptian, PSA ranked World # 2.
Are there any goals you have in mind that you would like to accomplish in the sport?
Short term goals are to win the Senior National Championship and make the top 5 on the squash team at Trinity College. Mid-term goal to win the Senior CASA Championship. Long-term goal is to play on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) circuit and win some events and get a decent ranking.
Besides squash are there any other sports that you play?
I play tennis and football.
What do you see as your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was winning the Gold medal at the 2019 Junior Pan Am Squash Championship in Toronto, Canada.
What are your plans for your game in the future?
To have success on the Caribbean and the college stage as well as playing PSA tours in 2021.
What would you say to a child or adult to encourage them to choose squash as a sport?
Squash is a worldwide sport and great for physical activity, that allows you to interact with different people from various cultures as well as embrace opportunities that before may have been seen as unattainable. It has been recognized as the number one health and fitness sport.