India table tennis team for CWG announced, women’s team will need clearance from SAI | More sports news



BENGALURU: India’s table tennis team selectors on Tuesday named a four-member women’s squad for the Commonwealth Games, subject to clearance from the Sports Authority of India, after Archana Kamath was included in the team when it did not meet the existing criteria.
Kamath is the second highest ranked Indian player at 66 after Manika Batra (39), but she was not among the top four players according to the existing selection criteria which also takes into account national performances.
The Committee of Trustees (CoA) plans to refine the selection guidelines in the future.
The players chosen are Manika, Archana, Sreeja Akula (rank 66), Reeth Rishya (100), with Diya Chitale (129) in reserve.
Experienced players like Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee were passed over.
Explaining the reasons for awaiting approval from SAI, SD Mudgil, CoA representative and chair of the selection committee, said: “According to the existing selection criteria, one of the members (Archana) is not part of of the first four.
“The Selection Committee is convinced that the existing guidelines are ‘flawed’ and have taken steps to make the necessary course corrections, with new guidelines taking effect from 1 October.
“However, in this transition phase, in view of a rich medal haul in Birmingham, we have included the said player in the squad. She (Archana Kamath) is one half of the doubles pair (Manika the other) who is ranked No. 4 in the world and who will be the top seeds of the Commonwealth Games.
“Therefore, the selection committee believes that this is a case worthy of consideration by SAI.”
The men’s team that was chosen is simpler, consisting of greats Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai. Manush Shah will be the replacement.
Mudgil also clarified that the 15 players (eight men and seven women) from the camp will line up at the next World Table Tennis Tour events in Zagreb (Croatia), Ototec (Slovakia) and Budapest (Hungary) in June-July. as part of an ongoing process to build the strength of Indian table tennis.
Paddlers heading to the CWG will also benefit from an acclimatization camp in partnership with a leading European team.
“The goal is to have 10 Indians in the world’s top 100”
The CoA headed by (ret’d) Justice Gita Mittal was appointed by the Delhi High Court in February this year to “clean up the TTFI”.
Unveiling an ambitious five-year plan which envisions the establishment of a national academy along the lines of the National Cricket Academy, with regional academies in four other cities, she said: “The target is to have at least 10 Indians in the top 100 in the world in the senior and junior categories for men and women.
“For this we need cooperation from all sides, not criticism just for fun.”
Judge Mittal insisted that the CoA wanted to fulfill its responsibilities and step aside as quickly as possible.
“We want to put structures in place and ensure a smooth transition. For us, all players are equally important. In addition, the player is the most important actor and it is in his interest that we operate”, a- she added.
The teams were chosen after a week-long national camp at the Padukone-Dravid Center for Sports Excellence in Bangalore.


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