Paddler Swastika Ghosh becomes third Indian player to move Delhi High Court over exclusion from Commonwealth Games

PTIUpdated: Thursday, June 09, 2022, 05:07 PM IST
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Indian TT player Swastika Ghosh | Pic: Twitter

Swastika Ghosh on Thursday became the third table tennis player to approach the Delhi High Court over exclusion from India's Commonwealth Games squad.

Her father and coach Sandeep Ghosh told PTI that they have a filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court and the matter will be heard on Friday.

"She is number four as per the selection criteria and should be in the team," said the father.

Diya Chitale and Manush Shah had also sought the HC's intervention in the matter.

Chitale has now been included in the squad at the expense of Archana Kamath but the selectors did not include Manush, who too is in the top-four as per the criteria, in the men's team when the Committee of Administrators running the TTFI announced the final squad on Tuesday. Manush's case will also be heard on Friday.

Swastika, 19, was named as a standby with the revised squad comprising Manika Batra, Chitale, Reeth Rishya and Sreeja Akula.

The men's squad includes veteran Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty with Manush on standby.

Selection criteria in focus

The selection criteria, which factors in domestic performances (50 percent), international performances (30 percent) and selectors' discretion (20 percent), has attracted a lot of attention with the players moving court for "justice".

The CoA has made it 40-40-20 from next season with a player ranked in the top-32 getting an automatic entry. A former India player requesting anonymity said a selection criteria has to be in place for big events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

"Selection criteria acts as a guiding light to the player. With the criteria in place, he or she knows what needs to be done to get into the Indian team. But with certain players who fall in the class above the rest, relaxations could me made.

"As per the current criteria, a lot of weightage is given to domestic events which makes sense as not all players can afford to play in international events regularly. Secondly, there is a restriction on number of entries as well in international meets," the player said.

To put the player's words into perspective, Sathiyan and Manika are India's leading players on the international stage but if one strictly follows the selection criteria, they may not make the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

"In cases like Sharath, Sathiyan or Manika, you know they are a class above the rest. They have to be there but for others you need to set selection criteria as they will have something to work towards," the player added.

Sathiyan is currently the highest-ranked Indian at 34 while Manika is the highest-ranked female at 39. Sharath, who fits the criteria, is ranked 38 and is arguably the best player to have come out of India.

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