The top performer of the Nagpur girls’ team in the recently held Maharashtra State Selection Sub-Junior Basketball Championship Anandi Sonewane was on Thursday dropped from the 12-member state team for the forthcoming Sub-Junior Nationals.
Riding on the performance of Anandi, the Nagpur team won a silver medal in the Under-13 state tournament in Kolhapur. Still, after the camp, she was not selected. Instead, another Nagpur girl Arya Dagarwar of Shivaji Nagar Gymkhana (SNG) who is from the club of Maha Basketball Association (MBA) secretary Shatrughna Gokhale was selected.
The Nagpur team played five matches including the final where Anandi scored a total of 64 points and Arya scored just 17 points.
President of Nagpur District Basketball Association (NDBA) Sandip Joshi was critical of the injustice. In a clear message to the secretary of MBA, Joshi said, “For your personal selfishness, please don’t play with the future of young players. See the comparison of both Nagpur players. First of all, If the Nagpur team played in the finals then both the Nagpur players should have been selected for the Maharashtra team. After comparing both then I feel Anandi shouldn’t have been ignored.”
Shatrughna Gokhale, a Shiv Chhatrapati Award winner and secretary of the Maha Basketball Association, was one of the jury members for the National Games held in Gujarat a couple of months ago.
Sandip Joshi added, “Because of Anandi’s performance Nagpur team was able to reach the final. She has scored 64 points in the five matches and has performed consistently in the tournament. If the performance of a player is not considered, then what has to be the criteria to get selected for the team? I have received many complaints in the past against Mr. Gokhale about favoring players of his own club SNG but this time we won’t remain silent and NDBA will surely take stern action so that this kind of injustice is not repeated.”