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Chirag Shetty slams Maharashtra govt for felicitating cricketers, ignoring Thomas Cup feat

In 2022, when Chirag won the Thomas Cup - the World Men's Team Championship - for India, the State government did not recognise his feat.

Chirag Shetty slams Maharashtra govt for felicitating cricketers, ignoring Thomas Cup feat

Chirag Shetty won the Thomas Cup for India in 2022. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 July 2024 4:15 AM GMT

Chirag Shetty, who forms the ace men's doubles combination with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, lashed out at the Maharashtra government for discriminatory treatment of Indian shuttlers.

Earlier this week, the State government felicitated the T20 World Cup-winning Indian men's cricket team in Mumbai and announced an INR 11 crore cash reward for the cricketers.

Chirag achieved several epoch-making feats for Indian badminton. He won the Thomas Cup and World Championships bronze in 2022, and Asian Games men's doubles gold in 2023. He also won several BWF World Tour titles.

Chirag and Satwik are the first Indian pair to become the World No. 1 and are currently ranked third on the BWF World Rankings.

Despite Chirag's tall achievement in a highly competitive field, the state he hails from did not feel the urge to recognise his feat.

In 2022, India won the biennial Thomas Cup - the World Men's Team Championship, one of the toughest competitions in badminton - when they routed reigning champions Indonesia 3-0 in the final in Bangkok, with Chirag and Satwik playing a pivotal role in India's victory.

"Thomas Cup is equivalent to winning the World Cup. I was part of the Indian badminton team which won its maiden title, shocking champions Indonesia in the final. I was the only Maharashtra player in the Indian team. When the government can honour World Cup-winning cricket stars, they should have also recognised my efforts. Government should treat any other sport equally," Chirag was quoted as saying by Times of India.

'Nothing against cricket'

However, Chirag, who lives in Mumbai, made it clear that he has nothing against cricketers and that he enjoyed watching the T20 World Cup in the USA and the West Indies.

"I have nothing against cricket. In fact, we all badminton players watched the T20 World Cup final live on TV and celebrated enthusiastically. We are happy and proud about their sensational win against South Africa in the final," said Chirag.

"Similarly, we had also achieved something remarkable a couple of years ago, but the state government did not even felicitate me, leave apart giving any cash rewards. Before 2022, the Indian badminton team had never even reached the semifinals but we created history by winning the title," said the 27-year-old Paris Olympics bound Indian shuttler.

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