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Bengal may be back as hosts

Calcutta: With the Jharkhand Table Tennis Association (JTTA) expressing its inability to host the East Zone championships, it is now, in all likelihood, going to be held in the Calcutta.

The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) had earlier decided to give the responsibility of hosting the meet to Jharkhand. Jamshedpur was tentatively picked as the venue.

However, Jharkhand Table Tennis Association (JTTA) recently intimated the national body that it was backing out from hosting the meet because of “some unavoidable circumstances”.

The meet was supposed to be held in August-September.

JTTA secretary Jay Kumar Sinha, when contacted by The Telegraph in Jamshedpur on Wednesday evening, said lack of facilities had forced them to cancel the meet.

“We had selected the Mohan Ahuja Hall in Jamshedpur as the venue for the East Zone meet. But there are only six tables there at present. And we didn’t get enough encouragement from the state government either. Roping in sponsors was also a problem. All this led us to decide against hosting the meet,” Sinha pointed out.

This may be a setback for TTFI’s earlier plans of promoting the game in developing states like Assam, Jharkhand and even Tripura.

TTFI president Mool Chand Chowhan could not be contacted, but a source close to the TTFI said Bengal appear to be the frontrunners as hosts, because no other state can arrange all the facilities “in such a short time”.

He also added that it could be held in Siliguri or Durgapur.

A top Bengal Table Tennis Association (BTTA) official, however, said that the association is yet to receive any intimation from the national body about hosting of the meet. “We can hold the meet only if we get enough time to organise it. It may not be in Calcutta, though…”

The BTTA has hosted the meet for past seven years. Last year, it took place in Durgapur.

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