Shamini's 'attitude' under scanner

 Indian women’s table tennis team coach Bhawani Mukherjee accused reigning national champion K Shamini of shirking away from taking on top players and has lodged a complaint with the Table Tennis Federation of India about her “lackadaisical attitude.”   

Mukherjee informed that Shamini on Tuesday refused to play against England in the team championship semifinal as she was pitted against higher-ranked players. “She (Shamini) said that “Sir, I am not comfortable playing Joanna Parker (rank 135) nor she was willing to play Kelly Sibley (225). Her attitude totally surprised me,” Mukherjee said.

The 24-year-old girl, in the team meeting on Monday night, told Mukherjee that she was low on confidence for the next match, leaving the national coaching with no opportunity but to field Madhurika Patkar in her place.

“If she can’t play against higher ranked opponents what is she doing in the team? I have told TTFI about her lackadaisical attitude. We don’t want such players to represent our national side,” a fuming Mukherjee stated after Indian eves lost 2-3 to England.  

Mukherjee said he will now have to consider whether Shamini is fit to be included in the squad to Paris. “We will have to seriously think if she deserves to go to Paris. We are contemplating withdrawing her name,” he said.

Earlier, in the quarterfinal league stage also Shamini, who is ranked 275 in the world, had expressed her uneasiness in playing Singaporean paddlers.  The Chennai girl was part of the four member group that went for a coaching camp in China.

However, Shamini said it was a team decision to bench her as she had struggled against Sibley on earlier occasions. The Englishwoman had comprehensively beaten her twice – Commonwealth Games and World Championships.

“It was decided that Madhurika will play this time as their players were comfortable against me. It was a conscious decision to bench me,” Shamini said.

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