What’s the story?
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh for Indian badminton star Kidambi Srikanth for winning the men's singles titles at the Australian Open Super Series tournament.
The felicitation ceremony was held at Tummalapalli Kalakshetram VijayaWada where Naidu congratulated the shuttler’s recent performances and offered him a Group 1 officer post as well. Srikanth’s coach and Dronacharya awardee Pullela Gopichand was also awarded Rs 15 lakh. The ace shuttler proceeded to present a badminton racket to the Chief Minister as a token of appreciation on the occasion.
In his speech, Srikanth said, "I always played for Andhra Pradesh and in the future I will play for AP".
In case you didn’t know...
Srikanth Kidambi defeated Olympic champion Chen Long in a dominating fashion to win the Australia Open Super Series in straight games, 22-20, 21-16 to win his career's fourth Super Series title. World no. 11 Srikanth recorded his second consecutive title win after he won the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier the week before.
Srikanth had also finished as runners-up in the final of the Singapore Open in April. He also became the sixth player in the world and the first Indian male badminton player to play in three straight Super Series finals after his winning run at the Australian Open.
The heart of the matter
N Chandrababu Naidu tweeted about the ceremony and wrote about how he felt that it was a moment of pride and joy for him to meet and interact with Srikanth. Naidu also promised that necessary financial support would be given to Srikanth for better training. A sports university would also be developed in Amaravati for encouraging budding sports players and regional coaching centers will be set up in Visakhapatnam and Tirupati.
Srikanth was also complementary about the ceremony and the encouragement he received from Chief Minister Naidu and tweeted about how honored he was to meet the chief minister and how thankful he was to him.
I feel honoured to meet you sir and I don't think anyone will promote sports like you do. I will always be thankful to you sir. pic.twitter.com/naf31MogVd— Kidambi Srikanth (@srikidambi) June 28, 2017
However, some fans were not happy with the amount of cash prize that was being awarded to Srikanth Kidambi, citing the example of cricketers who received huge sums of money for their achievements.
Anand Mahindra, the chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group was quick to respond, promising to personally gift Srikanth a Mahindra TUV 300.
Srikanth has already set his sights on the World Championships to be held in Glasgow from August 21-27.
It was great to see a Government establishment meet and recognise sports icons who make the nation proud with their achievements in sports other than cricket.