The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
LOCAL squash players, Mike Burns together with his playing partner Neil Nesbitt excelled at the recently South African Inter-provincial Masters doubles competition staged in East London where they won their section.
This year’s South African Masters, a competition meant for squash players aged 35 and above took place from 7 to 9 November.
Burns and Nesbitt, both from Bulawayo won section one where they triumphed in all the six matches they played. The other best pairing was that of Darshan Vaghmaria and Kalpesh Parshotam, also from Bulawayo who finished second in section two while the rest of the pairs found the going tough against South African opponents.
For Burns (52) and Nesbitt (47), Zimbabwe’s number one doubles pairing in squash, it was a such a great achievement for them to win their section having tried for over a decade without success. Nesbitt feels what was crucial was that some points did go their way, something that has not happened in the past.
“It was a very good experience, very tight matches but some of the points went our way this year where they haven’t gone our way in previous years so we managed to pull through,” Nesbitt said.
Steadiness also played a part for Burns and Nesbitt as the two used the experience they have gained over the years to excel in 2019.
“Experience from previous years helped a lot and we were just more consistent than other years, the luck of the certain points going our way, against Border it was 11-10, 10-11 and 11-10 so that gives you an idea of how one point the other way would have been a different outcome,’’ he said.
Zimbabwe have taken part in the South African Masters ITPs for decades but have always struggled against their fellow old-timers from across the Limpopo.