Profitable the Thomas Cup Means India Has Arrived on the World Stage, Says Prakash Padukone


Prakash Padukone is a dwelling legend of Indian sports activities. At a time when the world questioned the combating spirit of Indian sportsmen, indicating that we suffered from an inferiority complicated, that we choked throughout matches, and that India couldn’t produce champions as there was hardly any infrastructure within the nation, this shuttling maestro proved the world mistaken.


He conquered the world on this harsh however scintillating sport and dominated for a couple of years like an emperor. All England champion of 1980, he gained a plethora of main titled together with the Widespread Wealth video games gold medal, the World cup title, British and Indian masters and extra.

Each single prime participant from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, and Denmark, bit the bullet at his balletic toes. He confirmed no mercy, going for the jugular of any opponent throughout the web. Inaugural World Cup finals in 1981 noticed him hammering the then China #1 Han Jian 15-0.

After retiring from aggressive badminton he gave again to the sport in India by beginning the Prakash Padukone badminton academy. Producing such gems as Lakshay Sen.

Delighted on the Thomas cup victory he agreed to speak about it, the way it will influence Indian badminton, and what extra is required to make India a real badminton energy.

In 1979 India reached the semis of the Thomas cup beneath your captainship. We took one other 43 years to not solely attain the finals however truly win the cup. How would you evaluate the 2 campaigns?

“These had been completely different eras, completely different backgrounds. However nonetheless, let me see how I can reply this query. You realize for a very long time India relied on one particular person to win the workforce video games. It was Nandu Natekar, then Dinesh Khanna a lot earlier than me. Then I got here and the burden was on me to win each time. In workforce video games, it is necessary for each participant to contribute.”

In 1979 you and Pradeep Gandhe gained a vital match in doubles for India in opposition to Malaysia. That did the trick and India reached the semifinals defeating Malaysia which was the highest workforce on this planet at the moment.

However at present on this Thomas cup our workforce was balanced as a result of we had three examined world-beaters in singles and a very sturdy pair in doubles. So these 4 folks might feed off one another and nonetheless come up on prime. That’s the major distinction between 1979 and now. You see Lakshya was not capable of play as does due to the meals poisoning he suffered. So Shrikant and Prannoy took on the burden and helped India on every step. The improbable doubles win was a bonus

What’s your opinion about this victory?

Nicely, this was a stupendous victory each which manner you have a look at it. To defeat three groups like Malaysia, Denmark and at last Indonesia on a trot was distinctive. And that too 3-0 in finals. I used to be delighted and actually overwhelmed on the astute and assured manner India carried on

That is probably the most balanced Indian workforce ever. If we get two extra double combos we will likely be troublesome to beat as a workforce. You realize India now has two All England champions, a world champion in PV Sindhu, and we’re additionally Thomas cup champions. The one factor remaining is Olympic gold. That’s a great report.
Our gamers are feared now once they go to play worldwide occasions and that could be a nice feeling.

What has labored properly for India, and the way we are able to take it ahead sooner or later?

I feel so many issues got here collectively to make this occur. At the beginning is the Govt funding and personal sector funding. There may be a lot sponsorship occurring. So many schemes by the sports activities ministry to make sure that our gamers aren’t left with out cash and services. The badminton infrastructure in India is completely world-class.

Overseas coaches have made a giant distinction in elevating our requirements. Indian coaches have additionally began doing a great job. However we want extra coaches. Then with so many academies arising, increasingly youngsters are taking on the sport. So the expertise is there, we simply need to faucet it.

The Badminton Affiliation of India can be doing a great job. Issues are higher dealt with at each nook.

Coming again to the Thomas cup, how did you see the spark in Lakshya Sen on the tender age of 9. And what’s your tackle his efficiency in Bangkok?

We had accepted his brother Chirag on the academy. Lakshya had additionally come alongside together with his father and brother. He additionally needed to affix. Simply to humour him alongside I instructed him to hit a couple of shuttles. I used to be shocked by his energy and court docket protection. I don’t understand how or why however my intestine feeling was that this fellow goes to be a world-class shuttler at some point and I used to be confirmed proper.

Relating to the Thomas cup, there was a priority relating to the meals poisoning concern. Nonetheless, he performed as a workforce member and he went on enjoying first singles in order that the highest participant on the alternative aspect was slowed down and didn’t play with our 2nd singles. So he took the warmth of the two singles. That was courageous of him. However my concern was whether or not he’ll have the ability to peak on the proper time.

He had already peaked at German and all England open, simply two months earlier than. It’s a robust schedule these days for these gamers. There may be a lot badminton occurring.

However have a look at the best way he performed when it actually mattered. It was an excellent efficiency by him. He simply dug in to offer that essential first level to India within the finals in opposition to Indonesia.

Ideas about Srikanth and Prannoy?

Unbelievable gamers each of them. It was an outstanding all-round efficiency by them. They performed their hearts out. They had been sensational, nice workforce gamers. They went in regards to the work of successful their singles with actual effectivity.

What extra can I add. I feel everybody performed their position to perfection. I heard that there was nice workforce spirit in our squad. Seniors like Shrikant Kidambi and Prannoy suggested the kids on a regular basis. There was plenty of comradeship within the workforce due to Srikanth and Prannoy.

I feel that the help employees additionally did a fantastic job. All in all, every little thing fell in proper place on the proper time.

The place will we go from right here?

We should hold in your engaged on our younger gamers. It’s true that successful the Thomas cup means India has arrived on the world stage and may actually name ourselves a world energy within the sport.

However we have to guarantee there’s a good bench energy for each occasion. We want 6 to 7 gamers to take up the highest place at any time. Solely then we will be justified in calling ourselves a badminton superpower like China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and so on. We should make one of the best use of our sources.

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