India no. 1 Manika Batra has been left out of the Indian squad that will be going to the upcoming Asian Table Tennis Championships. The Championships will be held in Doha from 28th September to 5th October.
The TTFI’s feud with Manika Batra has taken a turn for the worse as the star paddler has been left out of the squad. Ranked no.56 in the world, Batra is India’s strongest player. In her absence, world. no 97 and India no. 2, Sutirtha Mukherjee will lead the squad.
The TTFI has decided to make a change in its policy and made it mandatory for the players to attend the national camp as required barring medical reasons and emergencies. Batra, who was away from her teammates, was not able to attend the camp. The paddler is currently training in Pune with her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape and had informed the TTFI that she would not be attend the camp.
Barring Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula among others in the Squad for Asian Championships
Manika’s feud with the TTFI began when she refused to have her coach by her side during the Tokyo Olympics. This was called to be indisciplinary action by the committee. Batra replied to the TTFI by saying that Soumyadeep Roy pressured her into match fixing at the Olympic qualifiers for the gain of his personal student.
The tension between the two did not resolve and then TTFI put out a circular saying, “any player chosen for the national camp must attend it without fail, from day one till the end of the camp. Only the players that are part of the national camp before a specific tournament will be considered for selection into the national team or represent India. No player can expect any relief or leniency against attending the national camp, save for medical grounds.”
The women’s team will now be lead by Sutirtha Mukherjee, with Akula Sreeja, Ayhika Mukherjee, and Archana Girish Kamath rounding off the women’s squad. World no. 33 Achanta Sharath Kamal, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, Manav Thakkar and Harmeet Desai will be representing India on the men’s side. With China not participating in the tournaments, the Indian team’s men’s chances for finishing on the podium are high.