The chaos over the selection of Indian table tennis team for Commonwealth Games deepened on Monday after the CoA informed the players that the squad it announced last week is not final, even as another paddler challenged his omission in the Delhi High Court.
The Committee of Administrators had announced an eight-member squad in Bangalore with the women's team subject to clearance from Sports Authority of India. Diya Chitale, who was named as standby, filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court challenging his exclusion and now Manush Shah, who was named as a reserve in the men's team, has done the same.
"We filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court today. The hearing is on June 10 alongside Chitale's matter," Manush's father Utpah Shah told PTI.
The development came on a day when the CoA wrote to the players stating no final decision has been taken on men's and women's squad selection for the event in July-August. It had also conducted a press conference in Bangalore on the squad announcement though it specified that the women's team was subject to SAI's approval.
On Monday, the Sports Ministry-backed body has put the ball back in CoA's court, saying that team selection in major international events "is the responsibility of the national sports federation".
"The government or SAI will not have direct involvement in the selection process except to ensure it is fair and transparent," SAI tweeted.
In its mail to the players, the CoA wrote: "The email dated 2-6-2022 regarding submission of documents was purely with a view of completion of documents in advance to avoid delays (visa) and was not a communication of the selected list.
"Now it has transpired from newspaper reports that the said email has been relied upon as a communication of a selected list as approved by the CoA."
"The approval of the CoA for the list of players to represent India in 2022 Commonwealth Games is still awaited," stated the note to players accessed by PTI.
As per the original list, the selection committee had picked Manika Batra, Archana, Sreeja Akula and Reeth Rishya in the team with Chitale as the standby.
The men's team included veteran Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty with Manush as a reserve.
The controversy over the selection criteria has attracted a lot of attention.
The team selection factors in performances in domestic (50 percent) and international tournaments (30 percent) while the remaining 20 percent is left for the selectors' discretion. However, the CoA has decided to change the ratio to 40, 40 and 20 from next season.