"Could Be 1983 Moment For Badminton": Sunil Gavaskar On India's Historic Thomas Cup Triumph
Former India cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar hailed the men's badminton team for winning a gold medal at the Thomas Cup for the very first time.
Indian men's badminton team produced a sensational effort on Sunday to defeat 14-time champions Indonesia to win a gold at the Thomas Cup for the very first time. From Lakshya Sen to Kidambi Srikanth, all players were exceptional on the day it mattered most and as a result, India sealed the summit clash inside the first three matches. Congratulatory messages poured in from all corners of the world. Former cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar also hailed the side for winning a maiden Thomas Cup title.
Gavaskar also said that this could be the "1983" moment for badminton. For the unversed, India had won the Cricket World Cup for the very first time in 1983 and since then, the popularity of sport is unmatched in the country.
Speaking before the game between Lucknow Super Giants and Rajasthan Royals on Star Sports, Gavaskar said: "The morning was very sad with the news of Symonds' passing away. As the afternoon went on, good news came in. The Indian Thomas Cup team winning the badminton title, which is like the world title for the first time and beating Indonesia, who have been 14-time champions, they are the defending champions. They beat them. I'll tell you what, I am just over the moon, I love badminton. If you give me a choice between watching a game of cricket -- T20 and badminton, I'll choose badminton anytime."
"I think it is a very hard and tough game, you need loads of stamina, you need anticipation, your reflexes, everything. I used to play a little bit, only to help my slip catching reflexes because when you go for the shuttle on the backend side or on the forehand side, you need those reflexes. So that was the intention, not so much for stamina or anything of that sort. So that is why I played, I used to play doubles, mind you. I did not have the legs or lungs for the singles," he further added.
Talking more about the win, Gavaskar said: "I think it is such a wonderful day for badminton, I think this could be the 1983 moment for badminton because 1983, nobody expected us to win. Here, I am not saying nobody expected India to win because India in the last two years, has developed a fabulous badminton team but they were playing 14-time champions Indonesia, just that little bit of doubt. I am just so delighted, as I said, over the sun, over the moon. I am over all the planets. Well done guys."
Talking about the final between India and Indonesia, Lakshya Sen had given the side a 1-0 lead after beating Indonesia's Anthony Ginting in the first match. After this contest, India went on to take a 2-0 lead after Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty came from a game down to beat Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19.
In the third match of the final, Kidambi Srikanth outclassed Jonatan Christie 21-15, 23-21 and in the end, India went on to script history on Sunday in front of a jam-packed crowd at Impact Arena in Bangkok.