ATTENTION SPORTS DESK: INDIA’S YOUNG BRIGHT TT PROSPECT SWASTIKA GHOSH IS FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE
MUMBAI: After India’s stupendous show in table tennis in the Gold Coast the Commonwealth Games, one thought the game will get boost in the country, but the treatment metted out to Maharashtra’s 15-year- old Swastika Ghosh belies that belief.
Inspite having performed exceptionally well at the national and even at the international level, Swastika, the girl from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai has been ignored by the organizers of the forthcoming Ultimate Table Tennis ( UTT) league in India.
However, Swastika’s father Sandeep Ghosh, who is also her Coach and mentor in this game, is very upset, after knowing that his daughter was not included in the Ultimate Table Tennis(UTT) league – the big event to be held in June 2018. Swastika first received All India No 1 Ranking in the under-12 category, after winning the National Ranking Central Zone Table Tennis Championship in Gandhidham, Gujarat in 2013 . And thereafter she has not looked back. Every year she has shown tremendous progress in her game at the state, national and international level.
After winning the Sub Jr. Girls National Championship. She opted for higher age group Girls Singles event, so as to face tougher competition at state and national level. For the past 2 years, Swastika has been a regular member of Team India in International tournaments. Swastika represented the country in ITTF Belgium, Portugal and Spanish open and was also the captain of Indian Sub Junior Team for South Asian Federation Games at Karachi, Pakistan.
Swaastika’s father , seeking justice for his has served a notice through her lawyer on 9th April 2018 to the Organisers and sponsors of UTT event , seeking explanation, as to why she has not been considered for this TT league, in spite of her best performance at the national and international level though she is ranked 7th in Youth Girls. Instead, a below- player, Sreeja Akula (10th rank in the Country in Youth Girls) and five years older to her, was included by the organizers, for this league. In their reply dt. 17th April 2018 sent through their lawyers, the organizers 11 Sports, have denied the allegations made by Swastika’s lawyer on behalf of his client.
As regards, preferring Sreeja Akula a lower ranked player from India, it has been pointed out by Organisers that Sreeja’s selection was made on the basis of her current World ranking. Further, they have also defended that being the organizers of this event, they were free to decide its own selection process, which in no manner is illegitimate, unlawful and/or unjust.
In short, they have denied in toto the contents of notice served by Swatika’s lawyer and called it false and baseless . The reply from 11 Sports lawyer also mentions that The Indian ranking of a player is secondary i.e. in the event 7 (seven) players of each category are not seeded in the top 100 in the world and/or such Indian players seeded in the top 100 refuse participation in UTT, the Indian rankings issued by TTFI are then taken into consideration and alternative players are invited to participate in UTT, accordingly. Whilst UTT is approved and supported by TTFI, it is a privately-owned tournament, asserts the organizers. As such They have absolute and sole authority and discretion in deciding the criteria for inviting players to participate in UTT and is in no way liable to invite the top 7 (seven) players in any Indian category.
Swastika’s father Sandeep Ghosh contended that : “Swastika has been deliberately ignored by the organizers from the forthcoming UTT league. I am not satisfied with the explanation received from the event organizers 11 Sports through their lawyer.
“According to me, any big tournament hosted in India with the support of Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), should respect their rankings first. Why only world ranking was brought in the case of my daughter’s omission in Youth category? Why not the same criteria was applied while selecting other Indian team members of league in other categories ? For records, Swastika recently beat Sreeja Akula 4-0 in Youths Singles in individual capacity in 2018-National Championship for Youth held at Durgapur. Further, she had also defeated the Olympian and 6-time Sr. National Champion Mouma Das in women’s singles of the Sr. National table tennis championship held in Ranchi in 2018. Is this not a great performance? ”
Mouma was member of the Indian Women’s team which won Gold in recently concluded Commonwealth games. Therefore, this injustice and partialty in selection has certainly spoiled talented Swastika’s hopeful career,” he stated.
Thanks – Aggreived father of Swatika Ghosh.