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The Dunlop British Open Squash Championships, the longest-established and most prestigious event in world squash, comes to Liverpool for the first time next month - and will become the first international sporting event to be staged in the city's new Echo Arena.

Widely regarded as the 'Wimbledon' of Squash, the British Open was first held more than 80 years ago and attracts elite international fields from all over the world.

The Dunlop British Open - Liverpool 2008 boasts a galaxy of squash stars, led by the world's top ten men and women - and also features the world's largest and most successful annual Masters Championships, with 13 events ranging from men's and women's Over-35 age group categories to en's Over-70.

With the qualifying competitions and early rounds of the main events getting underway at the Liverpool Cricket Club from Tuesday 6 May, action moves onto the spectacular all-glass show court in the Echo Arena from Friday 9 May through to the finals on Monday 12 May.

Promoted by internationalSPORTgroup on behalf of England Squash, the Dunlop British Open - Liverpool 2008 is also backed by the Liverpool Culture Company, Liverpool City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the ATCO Group.

Liverpool Echo Arena is a state-of-the-art 10,000-seater arena, situated in the Kings Dock on the River Mersey. Opened in January this year, the arena hosted the opening ceremony of the Capital of Culture Year.

Due to unprecedented demand for places in the Masters Championships, Crosby Northern Sports Club will become a hosting partner alongside the ECHO Arena Liverpool and Liverpool Cricket Club - staging Masters matches on 8th and 9th May.

World number ones Amr Shabana and Nicol David will head the distinguished casts in Liverpool. Shabana, from Giza near Cairo, celebrated 25 consecutive months at the top of the men's world rankings this month, thereby becoming the longest-serving number one since Pakistan's legendary Jansher Khan more than ten years ago.

Now in her third year as women's world number one, Nicol David has become Malaysia's most successful international sportsperson of all-time - and last December was voted the 'Asian Sportswoman of the Year'.

For further information:
British Open Press Officer Howard Harding Tel: 01737-243333; Mobile: 07773-325130; Email: Howard@hhpr.co.uk
Or Jonathon Bates, Capitalize PR: 020-7940 1708 or JBates@capitalize.co.uk ES 294