In the context of sports meets, the word `inauguration' seems to have lost its meaning. Rarely does an opening ceremony precede a tournament. It is invariably held after the tournament commences, inconveniencing the players and spectators. The recent ITF junior tournament at the DLTA was a classic example. The organisers tried to make room for the inaugural ceremony by scheduling the second set of matches at 11.30 a.m. after having started the proceedings at 9 a.m. The reason was the inability of the chief guest to be present before the start of play, especially considering the cold and foggy winter mornings and the peak hour traffic.

Unfortunately, the organisers failed to visualise the possibility of matches going into extra points and sets. Like in the case of the match between Kinshuk Sharma and Agnel Gladwin. But how could they keep the chief guest waiting? So, much to the chagrin of the players, they shifted the match to another court and went ahead with the inauguration with all fanfare.

Kamesh Srinivasan