New Delhi, July 22: Indian table tennis player and Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Manika Batra, along with six other top paddlers on Sunday was left stuck at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi. The bunch of players were denied boarding on a Melbourne flight by national carrier Air India en route an international event. The players are scheduled to participate at the ITTF World Tour Australian Open in Melbourne starting Monday.
In fact, only 10 members out of the team of 17, were allowed to board after Air India told them that the flight was overbooked. Manika Batra, later, took to Twitter to share her woe and asked Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Prime Minister’s Office to inquire into the matter.
Manika tweeted said in a tweet, “Our contingent of total 17 players & officials of Indian table tennis team including CWG medalist myself, Sharath Kamal, Mouma Das, Madhurika, Harmeet, Suthirta, Sathyan were supposed to fly today to Melbourne by AI 0308 to participate in ITTF World Tour Australian Open from tom.” She further said “On reaching Air India counter we were told dat flight is overbooked & only 10 members of TT team can fly which left us in a shock. 7 of us are still unable to fly. All the tickets were booked by Balmer Lawrie.”
Alarmed by the situation, Director General of Sports India (erstwhile Sports Authority of India) Neelam Kapur swung into action immediately and sorted out the matter. “The TT team have been booked on an alternate flight leaving later tonight,” Kapur confirmed on her official Twitter handle.
(With agency inputs from PTI)