Jansher Khan, of Pakistan, the six-times world champion and world No1, pulled out of the Mahindra International Challenge in Bombay yesterday at the last minute, citing security reasons.
Jansher had insisted on special security following reports of Hindu-Moslem communal tension in parts of India. He withdrew from last year's inaugural tournament for similar reasons following the eruption of riots.
In his absence Brett Martin, the world No3 and top seed, launched the defence of his title with a determined victory over his fellow Australian John Goodchild. Martin used his powerful wristplay to defeat Goodchild 15-13, 9-15, 15-8, 15-13 in a match that lasted just 35 minutes.
Also through to the second round are the fourth seed, Rodney Eyles, also of Australia, and a clutch of Englishmen including Del Harris, Tony Hands, Stephen Meads, Angus Kirkland and Simon Parke, who knocked out his compatriot Tim Garner.
Hands, the sixth seed, had a tough assignment against India's Arjan Singh, but he won 15-6, 15-12, 15-13.Reuse content