Sharath Kamal to participate in senior nationals

India’s star paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal will make his first appearance in two years at the 77th Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships, beginning at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskara Reddy Indoor Stadium from tomorrow.

Sharath Kamal pulled out of the Commonwealth Championships in Surat last month due to injury.   -  Rohit Jain Paras

India’s star paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal will make his first appearance in two years at the 77th Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships, beginning at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskara Reddy Indoor Stadium from tomorrow.

Sharath had last played the senior nationals at Patna. In fact, he had even skipped the Inter-Institutional championships because of his commitments abroad. Then injury prevented him from competing in major international events, including the Commonwealth Championships at Surat last month.

PSPB, the men’s team title holders, has received a shot in the arm and Sharath is the value addition to the formidable unit that already has national champion Soumyajit Ghosh, Anthony Amalraj, Harmeet Desai and G Sathiyan in it.

However hard they try, none of the 31 teams in fray can snatch from PSPB’s grip the Barna Ballack Cup which has been theirs for several years in a row.

Even their women team members are likely to keep a tight hold on the Jayalakshmi Cup, which they lost momentarily at Raipur a few years ago before regaining it. With Manika Batra, Mouma Das, Ankita Das, K. Shamini and Pooja Sahasrabudhe in their ranks, it will be difficult for others to close in on it.

Yet, this edition can ring in changes and for the better. With quite a lot of players unable to turn out for their institutional teams, most of them have opted to play for their states. This portends a nice, gentle message to even the mightiest PSPB that keep a watch on their performance.