The Malaysian squash queen announced on Monday her plan to retire at the end of the current Professional Squash Association (PSA) season in June.
It’s OFFICIAL!— Nicol Ann David (@NicolDavid) February 18, 2019
I’m truly happy and excited to be sharing with everyone that I’m retiring in June.
I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me and all your love in the last 20 years and it’s time for new and exciting opportunities to come. #thedreamremains pic.twitter.com/w3bH5tC2eg
Her impending retirement might raise questions about Malaysia's prospect of competing for honours at the international level — Low Wee Wern, Ivan Yuen and Darren Chan were the only players to win any titles to date this season.
Despite that, the 35-year-old, who will be making her final World Championship appearance next week in Chicago, has faith in the new generation of Malaysian squash players.
"I think the way to bring [Malaysian] squash is to not compare [anyone] but give it some time to build and develop to get to where it needs to be," she told Astro Arena in an exclusive interview.
"I did not become a world champion overnight and it can take about 10 years to get a programme right before you find a world champion or players who can at their very best.
"We cannot push too far but we have so much potential with the juniors, especially with their results coming through at the British Junior [Open Squash]."
Last year saw Malaysia sweep all but one girls' category at the prestigious junior open squash championship through K. Sehveetrraa (Under-13), Aira Azman (Under-15), Aifa Azman (Under-17) and S. Sivasangari (Under-19).
Aifa and Sivasangari, in particular, were also part of the Malaysian women's squash team led by David that won a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
"I am so proud of them and it is great to see how I could be able to contribute to inspire more juniors to come through as well as other athletes.
"Seeing them grow alone is definitely fulfilling. Squash will definitely go up and, who knows, they might [emulate me in the future]."