A 12-member Indian team will be embarking on a trip to Oman to compete in the WTT Contender event beginning February 27, marking the players’ first assignment after the Committee of Administrators took charge of the suspended TTFI.
The Delhi High Court suspended Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) earlier this month for running a “sorry state of affairs” and constituted a CoA, headed by retired Justice Gita Mittal. The committee assumed charge last week.
The Muscat events will kick-start the preparation of the players for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the Asian Games in Hangzhou in August-September.
The WTT Contender will be the first preparatory outing for the players in the new year.
In the 12-member squad, G Sathiyan (World No. 32), Harmeet Desai (No. 80), Anthony Amalraj (No. 99), Manika Batra (No. 49), and Archana Kamath (No. 99) are the Indians who figure in the top-100 in the world.
The other members include Manav Thakkar, Sanil Shetty, Manush Shah, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Diya Chitale, Akula Sreeja, Reeth Rishya, and Ayhika Mukherjee. The team that leaves on Friday will be accompanied by coaches Arup Basak and Subhajit Saha.
The CoA also cleared 11 other players who will be either be self-funded or undertake the trip under TOPS. They include promising youngsters Payas Jain, Yashaswini Ghorpade, Suhana Saini, and Prapti Sen.
The qualifying events at Muscat will begin on Sunday, while the main draw starts on March 2. The tournament concludes on March 5.
Sharath Kamal for Singapore Smash
Meanwhile, five male and six female players will compete in the inaugural Singapore Smash 2022 championships from March 7 to 20. Sharath Kamal, world No. 33 and who opted out of the Muscat Contender event, will be seen in action, his first after a recent knee procedure he underwent in Chennai.
“I skipped the Muscat event to concentrate on Singapore Smash because of the solid world ranking points it offers,” he said, adding, “I am far more relaxed and fit for the event.”
The players for Singapore Smash include G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, Anthony Amalraj, and Manav Thakkar among men, while Manika Batra, Archana Kamath, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Akula Sreeja, Ayhika Mukherjee, and Madhurika Patkar, among women.