STATE JUNIORS CAUGHT 

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By Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 4.12.00
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Calcutta, Dec. 4 :    Calcutta, Dec. 4:  The power struggle between the Bengal Table Tennis Association (BTTA) and the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has reached a flashpoint, and as a result, several little table tennis stars are in the firing line. The BTTA bosses today held a press conference, ostensibly to anounce the state team for the 62nd sub-junior and cadet national championships to be held in Chennai from December 9 to 15. However, it turned out to be yet another TTFI-bashing, with all officials passing the buck on the fact that some players were asked to show cause by the national body as to why they deserted the national camp at SAI, Eastern Centre, and attended a BTTA camp in Haldia instead. The incident has exposed the total apathy of the state body as well as the national body regarding the future of the players themselves. The kids - Subhadeep Saha, Sourav Pradhan, Runa Roy, Munmun Basak, Kankojit Mondal, Amarnath Das, Jayanta Sirkar, Niloy Basak, Soumi Mpondal etc. - were attending a TTFI-organised (in association with SAI) camp with North Korean coach Kim Chang Ho, when the BTTA decided that it wanted to give its kids some special training because they were taking part in the nationals. Nothing wrong with that, except that the state body did not bother to advise its players to take prior permission from the national federation to be absent from this camp. The short note of "information" (dated November 27) that the BTTA sent to the regional director, SAI, made no effort to seek premission of absence on behalf of the players. The BTTA's 10-day Haldia camp started on November 24. Fully aware of the "stepmotherly attitude" of the TTFI towards the state body, the state body officials, and coach Jayanta Pushilal, asked the kids to write letters and submit them at a late stage when those letters were not acceptable. The TTFI, in turn, has thrown all care for junior players to the wind and has asked the said players to show cause why they were absent. The most disgusting part of the entire episode is that while the state body refuses to own up and accept responsibility, the national body does not even care to meet the press or offer any manner of explanation otherwise. The state team for the nationals leaves station tomorrow. The team was today supplied playing kit by Bata India Ltd's Power division. It was also stated at the meetintg today that Niloy, Subhadeep, Sourav Pradhan, Snehasis, Amarnath, Munmun, Sarabi and Runa will not be allowed to take part in the cadet section since a new rule of the TTFI has restricted participation to two years for each player in each junior age group. The following have been finally selected: Sub-junior boys: Niloy Basak, Sourav Pradhan, Subhadeep das, Amarnath Das. Reserve: Snehasis Bhattacharya. Girls: Munmun Basak, Runa Roy, Sarabi Mondal, Anushree Saha. Reserve: Sayantika Kundu. Cadet boys: Sourav Ghosh, Kankojit Mondal, Sudipta Ghosh, Anirban Roy Chowdhury. Girls: Sukanya Basu, Nabanita Bose, Soumi Mondal, Pallavi Kundu. Coaches: Jayanta Pushilal and Avijit Kundu. Managers: Dipak K. Ghosh and Sadhan Dutta.