Coronavirus: Kiwi Paul Coll hopeful suspended squash season will resume soon

New Zealand squash star Paul Coll hopes the Professional Squash Association (PSA) season returns sooner, rather than later, with play currently suspended by the coronavirus.

Coll is currently self-isolated in his Netherlands home, with no competition play due until the end of April at the earliest.

But the global pandemic shows no signs of easing and Coll has heard rumours the entire season - scheduled through until July - will be cancelled.

The 27-year-old is trying to do some fitness work at a friend's private gym, but all local squash courts are currently closed. 

As squash players primarily earn money through tournaments, Coll hopes play resumes before money becomes sparse. 

"Squash New Zealand have been supportive, along with other sponsors," Coll told Newshub. "But in terms of prize money, that completely stops."

"The longer this goes on, it becomes quite tough. We're mainly a prizemoney-based sport, so the longer we're without tournaments, the longer we're out of pocket.

"Fingers crossed for the end of the season to still happen, but it's more likely we'll start again in August or September." 

Stuck in isolation, Coll said the training was really helpful from a mental perspective, as being locked up in home can be quite tough for an athlete. 

"It's a weird feeling. It isn't something that won't affect me much, but you have to think of others and if you infect older people, it can be dangerous for them.

"With no end date in sight, you feel lost, confused and that's why I'm trying to tick along with training, for my mind's sake." 

If the season does end early, Coll said he'd likely return to New Zealand.

"I'll look at coming home. Our season is scheduled to resume in May, so if that happens, I'll stay, but if we get cancelled through to August, I'll try to come home for a bit.

"The situation can change day-by-day, so if things get bad back home or flights are not happening, I won't come home. If the rest of the season gets cancelled, I'll try come home in June." 

Coll is currently ranked fifth in the world, after reaching the Windy City Open final in Chicago this month.