India's tennis contingent is finally ready to leave for the Olympics in London. But oddly enough, Sania Mirza's mother is also being sent as part of the support staff, the Indian Express reports.
The mother of one of India's most famous tennis players has no expertise in the field and this decision could land the All India Tennis Association in a soup— again.
Could this be a step taken to please Mirza, who wrote a scathing letter to the AITA after the who tennis selection row which involved Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi?
Col Ranbir Chauhan, part of the AITA executive committee was quoted in the Indian Express as saying: "She will be the women’s team coach."But he then quipped: "She will be the team manager as she has been in past. She is of great help to the women’s team because she has experience of going to these big tennis events."
Now considering her complete lack of specialisation in the game of tennis, that comes as quite a surprise. And it seems like going to enough tennis championships is experience enough to become an Olympics team manager.
Besides Naseema Mirza, India’s regular Davis Cup non-playing captain S P Misra, Sanjay Singh (Paes’s trainer), Shayamal Vallabhjee (Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna’s training consultant) and Milos Galecic (Somdev Devvarman’s physio) will travel to London.
The AITA sent the list to the Indian Olympic Association and name Naseema and Mishra as 'officials'.
But surely there were better candidates than Sania's mother to be the 'manager' of the team? The fact that Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal and Fed Cup coach Enrico Piperno were given the cold shoulder raises even more eyebrows.
It has also been noted that Naseema travels as team manager only when Sania is playing at a tournament.
With the AITA being in the news for all the wrong reasons till now, this step will only add to the already growing mistrust in the body.
Read the full Indian Express report here.