Indian table tennis star Diya Chitale, who went to the High Court in New Delhi after her exclusion from the Commonwealth Games squad on Tuesday, June 7, was included in the side for the event in Birmingham. The youngster was picked at the expense of Archana Kamath.
However, Manush Shah, who had also filed a petition in the High Court after not getting selected, stays a reserve player. For the time being, no changes have been made to the men’s squad, which will be led by veteran Sharath Kamal.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA), which is in charge of the suspended Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), had named a provisional women’s team comprising Kamath, Manika Batra, Sreeja Akula and Reeth Rishya in the team. The 19-year-old Chitale was selected as the standby.
The team was subject to clearance from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) but on Monday, June 6, the Sports Ministry mentioned that the squad selection was the responsibility of the national sports federation.
The selection committee, headed by CoA member S D Mudgil, met on Monday after SAI’s response and finalised the players in the team.
Kamath, who was set to play doubles along with Manika Batra, has been left out of the squad and Swastika Ghosh has been put on standby.
“There is only one change. Diya comes in as the fourth player in place of Archana. Archana did not meet the criteria but we thought she is also a good medal prospect (as she is world number 4 alongside Manika). But we were in a dilemma and that is why we went to the SAI and sought its guidance.
“The selectors in the end took the call to include Diya who has also done well domestically and as well as in international events. She would be playing the doubles alongside Manika,” Mudgil was quoted as saying.
The team selection takes into account performances in domestic (50 per cent) and international tournaments (30 per cent) even as the remaining 20 per cent is left for the selectors’ discretion.
However, the CoA has decided to change the ratio to 40-40-20 from the upcoming season.
Manush Shah, whose place in the team is still not guaranteed, has decided to go ahead with the case which is coming up for hearing on June 10.
“There is no going back now. We will not withdraw the case and see what happens in the hearing on June 10,” Manush’s father Utpal mentioned.
“There are time constraints too with deadline to send entries being June 29. After the CoA decision it looks tough for us but we remain hopeful. We also have written to CoA thrice on what grounds Manush has not made the team but we haven’t got a response.”
Men: Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty, Manush Shah (standby).
Women: Manika Batra, Diya Chitale, Reeth Rishya, Sreeja Akula, Swastika Ghosh (standby).