New Delhi: India`s badminton fraternity has said that it is looking forward to hosting the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup finals for the first time in New Delhi.
The Thomas Cup and Uber Cup finals are scheduled to take place at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here between May 18 and May 25.
Ace shuttler P. Kashyap is the captain of the men`s team for the Thomas Cup, while Saina Nehwal will be the captain of the women`s team for the Uber Cup.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has already done away with qualifiers and the teams have qualified on the basis of player rankings.
National team coach Pullela Gopichand said: "We have a great event in our country.It`s the first time we are hosting the Thomas and Uber Cup finals. Even if somebody had said this to me about three to four years back that we would be hosting it, I would have said not possible."
"I would really like to congratulate BAI (Badminton Association of India) President Akhilesh Das Gupta, and the BWF ( Badminton World Federation) for letting this happen.It is a dream for me personally to have such a big event in our country. I just hope and wish that we as a nation do well in this event,"| Gopichand added.
Das Gupta said :"The Thomas Cup and Uber Cup matches will be played by world class players and all top notch countries, including China, will be participating in it. It is going to be a very great show. And, I am very hopeful about our Indian team."
Ace woman shuttler Jwala Gutta said: "I think it`s a great opportunity for the Indian crowd to witness world class badminton at the highest level. I think it`s our great privelege to be representing the country and playing in front of the home crowd. And, I think I am sure, speaking on behalf of the whole team, I think everybody is very excited."
World number 8 shuttler Saina Nehwal was also present at the interaction with the media ahead of the two fixtures.
In Uber Cup, India have been clubbed with Thailand, Canada and Hong Kong. In the Thomas Cup, India is clubbed with Malaysia, South Korea and Germany in Group C
He (Major Dhyan Chand) is inspiration personified. He became synonymous with hockey. He became the parameter of hockey by which other player's calibre is measured.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal