Greg Lobban will be the men’s member of the Scottish duo alongside Lisa Aitken, and we spoke to the World No.29 to get his thoughts and feelings on the competition.
Firstly, what do you make of the new event structure?
I think it’s great! I think the more ways we can show squash in different scoring formats around the world is only a positive. It adds a whole new dynamic to the sport, and gives viewing audiences a chance to see squash in a different light. I think that is only a positive thing!
We have seen what a benefit the best-of-three format has had on the game in bringing in a different viewpoint to the sport, and away from the Platinum events, it is hugely important for the PSA to be looking at different initiatives to keep growing the sport and reaching new audiences.
How much are you looking forward to being a part of the inaugural Nations Cup?
I am really excited! Excited to be playing in a new scoring format, a new event! I think the scheduling has been great, with it happening just before the New Zealand Open, so it gives players a chance to play an event and stay on after the Nations Cup. The court looks amazing and the publicity around the event has been really good. I think New Zealand are going put on a great show so I am really looking forward to it.
What are your thoughts on the new scoring format, including the Powerplay rule?
The new scoring format looks exciting! It looks quick and dynamic given the shorter scoring games, up to seven points with a sudden death point at 6-6! I think a quicker, more dynamic format is great for the sport, in these non-PSA events.
I think there will be a lot of feedback afterwards on how to make the event even better, but if I was to foresee what was going to happen… Already I would like to see more ‘PowerPlay’ challenges or the use of it. It is a way of interacting with the audience and the viewing crowd. If anything, I would like to see more of that to make it even more exciting.
How does it feel to representing your country in a brand new event?
It is fantastic! Every chance I get to play for Scotland, I really do relish the opportunity! It is definitely the highlights of my career and it will be no different this time.
With all the other countries that are playing in the Nations Cup, it is going to be a really strong event. With it being two players, a mixed event, it is hugely exciting! And as I said, with it being in New Zealand, and how much they love sport in general, and how our sport is being backed more in the country, with the success of Paul [Coll] and Joelle [King], the crowds are going to be loud, it is going to be busy and an exciting event!
It’s a mixed team event, so how much are you looking forward to playing alongside Lisa Aitken?
It is great that we are playing a mixed event. It is not often, even for Scotland, to play in a mixed event like this, the only other time has been at the Commonwealth Games, where me and Lisa have played mixed doubles together. That was only a couple of months ago but we also played the World Doubles as well. We have spent a lot of time together over the years, and I am really looking forward to playing with her again.
How do you feel they will compliment your game as a team?
There has been a lot of work done on the mixed doubles side of things, and this is not much different from that, even though we will not be on the court at the same time!
Speaking to each other and in between matches, it is all about finding the right words at the right time, and that is how we will compliment each other. In knowing what to say and when to say it!