“Treat all sports equally,” Thomas Cup winner Chirag Shetty takes jibe at Maharashtra Govt. for honouring Indian Cricketers

Chirag Shetty

Indian badminton star Chirag Shetty recently voiced his frustration, highlighting the unequal treatment of athletes by the Maharashtra government. While the Indian cricket team received a cash reward of Rs 11 crore for their T20 World Cup victory, Chirag Shetty’s achievements were seemingly overlooked.

Chirag Shetty’s appeal to the Govt.

In 2022, Chirag Shetty played a pivotal role in India’s historic Thomas Cup win. The team stunned champions Indonesia in the final, securing their maiden title. Shetty’s contribution was significant, yet he feels his efforts went unnoticed.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde honoured the Indian cricket team with a hefty cash reward. However, Chirag Shetty, who won the Thomas Cup and World Championships bronze in 2022, as well as the Asian Games men’s doubles gold in 2023, felt left out. He expressed disappointment, emphasizing that the government should treat all sports equally.

As the only Maharashtra player in the Indian badminton team, Shetty expected acknowledgement. Comparing it to honouring World Cup-winning cricket stars, he questioned why his achievements weren’t recognized.

“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.

“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, let apart give 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.

Chirag Shetty’s critique sheds light on the need for consistent recognition across sports. His dedication to badminton deserves appreciation, just like any other athlete’s triumphs.

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