England squash captain Daryl Selby has promised to wear eye protection in all Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments after suffering an eye injury during the British National Championships.
Thirty-seven-year-old Daryl Selby, one of the most experienced professionals on the PSA World Tour, counts himself lucky not to have been badly injured when a stray shot off the frame of opponent Ollie Pett’s racket dealt him a sideway blow in the eye at Nottingham Squash Club earlier this year.
“I was in the front left corner and deliberately hit the ball down the middle, as a lot of pros do, to keep the ball off his forehand volley,” Selby told Squash Mad. “Unfortunately, he [Pett] caught it a little bit late. The ball struck the edge of the frame and, as I turned to watch what was happening behind me, I saw it coming towards me. I just managed to lean back and turn my head enough to one side which meant that the ball hit the eye socket. That stopped it from going directly into the eye itself, which could have caused a lot of damage.”
Selby was taken to hospital where an ophthalmologist reassured him there was no retinal damage. He returned to court the next day wearing protective eyewear and won straight sets against George Parker.
Keen to change the rules of club games, Selby said he believes if squash clubs introduced compulsory eye protection it would soon become the new normal. “It will just be an automatic response, just like wearing a seatbelt or wearing a helmet when you ride a bike.”