Having two No 1s in the same GB team cannot have happened very often. But tonight’s All Stars clash at 7pm does just that with Andrew Baggaley, the British No 1 because of his success on the international scene and Liam Pitchford, the England No 1 playing shoulder to shoulder along with a former England No 1 Paul Drinkhall.
It’s a real test for the three players who each have ambitions to get the call for Olympic duty. There’s no doubt a good performance tonight will go a long way to bringing those dreams a step closer.
It wont be easy. They will take on three experienced players in Lee Sang Su (Korea), Tomas Tregler (Czech Rep) and Omar Assar (Egypt) who could provide a real threat to any hopes our three players have of being part of the greatest sporting event in the world.
Our women will also be looking for a good performance and two familiar faces in Joanna Parker (138)and Kelly Sibley (157) will be joined by a newcomer to English ranks in Liu Na, a player from Ireland.
They will take on an interesting team of Saki Tashiro of Japan with a world ranking of 142 along with NG Wing Nam (Hong Kong) 91 and Nadeen El-Dawlatly (Egypt) 254.
Whatever the rankings and hopes for the future it makes for a fascinating clash of styles, speed and physical fitness
Above all it is an opportunity for all the players both UK based as well as overseas to provide their associations with enough answers to propel them forward to London 2012. There’s a lot at stake.