Commonwealth Games 2022: More drama as table tennis player Archana Kamath moves court over team selection

A file photo of Indian table tennis player Archana Kamath. (PC: TTFI)
A file photo of Indian table tennis player Archana Kamath. (PC: TTFI)

The never-ending drama surrounding the Indian table tennis team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games turned murkier when Archana Kamath moved courts to challenge her omission from the Indian table tennis team. Diya Chitale has taken Archana Kamath's place in the Indian team.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA), managing the affairs of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), selected Archana Kamath as an 'exception' as she did not meet the selection criteria.

The CoA selected Manika Batra, Archana Kamath, Sreeja Akula and Reeth Rishya in the team with Diya Chitale as the standby. However, after Diya took the issue to the Delhi High Court, she was included and Archana was omitted. Incidentally, Diya Chitale's case is yet to be heard by the court.

Read: India at CWG 2022: Full list of Indian athletes who have qualified for Commonwealth Games 2022 (Updated)

During the initial selection meeting, the CoA, in a statement, reasoned Archana's selection, saying:

"Under the existing selection criteria, Archana Kamath falls outside the top four. The selection committee is convinced that the existing guidelines are flawed and however, in this transitionary phase, with an eye on a rich medal haul in Birmingham, we have included the said player in the team. Archana Kamath is one half of the doubles pair (Manika being the other) and they are ranked No. 4 in the world."

Shocked by the sudden omission from the squad, Archana filed a writ petition at the Karnataka High Court against the Government of India, TTFI, Sports Authority of India and other members of the women's team.

Court stays Indian table tennis team list for CWG

The High Court has instructed all parties to appear before it on June 22 for a hearing and also stayed the team selection. A court order read:

“By interim direction, it is ordered that the selection list shall not be sent till the next day of the hearing."

The Delhi High Court has asked the Table Tennis Federation of India to file an affidavit explaining the selection process.

Also read: Paddler Reeth Rishya working hard ahead of 2022 Commonwealth Games

The team selection factors in performances in domestic tournaments and rankings (50 percent) and international tournaments (30 percent) while the remaining 20 percent is left to the selectors' discretion. However, the CoA has decided to change the ratio to 40, 40 and 20 from the next season.

The CoA's decision did not go down well with several players, with the likes of Chitale, Manush Shah and Swastika Ghosh moving courts before Archana Kamath.

Also Read: Neha Aggarwal: "Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran can win a medal in Commonwealth Games 2022"

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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