Squash 'stronger' despite frustration, says Daryl Selby

World number 13 Daryl Selby believes squash has never been stronger, despite the frustration of failing to achieve Olympic status for the third time.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) instead chose to reinstate wrestling for the 2020 and 2024 Games.

"It really was four years of extremely hard work from players and officials," Harlow's Selby told BBC Look East.

Squash: Evolution of a sport

Squash

Since failing in 2009 to gain a place at Rio 2016, squash has undergone a revolution, including:

  • Glass court redesign for improved spectator viewing
  • Under-court lighting
  • Arena music
  • Video reviews for referees
  • HawkEye introduced
  • In-play statistics
  • More matches televised
  • Iconic locations for matches, including Egyptian pyramids and Grand Central Station

"You feel like you were just banging your head against a brick wall. We'll deal with it."

The IOC voted to put wrestling back onto the list of Olympic sports after it was surprisngly dropped from the programme for Rio 2016 earlier this year, rather than add squash or baseball/softball.

Former British champion Selby, who also won world championship team gold with England this year, believes wrestling's reprieve defeated the purpose of the vote.

"They've taken a sport out and six months later, amazingly, it's gone back in. I don't see how that was a new sport entering the Olympics," he said.

"That's not to say wrestling shouldn't be there - it's just unfortunate how it happened."

In an attempt to sway members of the IOC committee, squash had introduced a series of changes, including glass courts for improved spectator viewing and video reviews for referees.

And Selby believes those advances, as well as recent media exposure, will benefit the sport.

"We're stronger than we've ever been," he said.

"As a sport it brought us together. It's helped everyone on a personal level to grow the sport.

"Squash people will continue to come together in the hope it will bring us fortune in the future."