After Somdev Devvarman, now Leander Paes, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna have got the nod of AITA to skip the Asian games to play international Tennis matches. With the rest of the squad at least just by current record, no medal can be expected. When to cut the costs, Sports Ministry is allowing only those teams that have hopes of medals, why is the Tennis team allowed to travel now? Shouldn’t entire team be replaced by some other group? Or may be other teams such as Weightlifting could be strengthened further?
Current Tennis Team for Asian Games
- Men: Yuki Bhambri, Saketh Myneni, Sanam Singh, Divij Sharan
Women: Ankita Raina, Prarthana Thombare, Natasha Palha, Snehadevi Reddy, Rishika Sunkara, Shweta Rana
To cut the costs, Sports Ministry had reduced the Indian Contingent to Asian Games 2014 from 942 of 2010 Asian Games to 679. The consideration was to allow teams that have the probability to win medals. Fair enough.
Without any disrespect to the current Tennis Squad that will land at Incheon, on face value nobody should expect medals from them. And the overall reduction in number of athletes and managers have been done to send only “Hopefuls”.
So, why not to send teams in either of the remaining 9 Sports where India is not participating, or why not to strengthen teams such as Weightlifting where Indians are not participating in all the events despite having medal winners.
First of all, Tennis federation should not have been allowed to make the decisions so late. And now when they have, government can do India a favour by pulling Tennis federation for their decision that undermines Indian chances at Asian Games.
It is not too late as only on Tuesday the Sports Minister has inked the details and teams were announced.
Cricket board has already closed eyes to National duty by refusing to participate. At least they could have let the Women’s Cricket team participate who anyways do not get much opportunity to play. Now, Tennis has gone almost the Cricket Way.
Government must interfere to ensure India’s interest remain on top in any sports body.