At 32, S. Appoorwa is on a comeback trail. And she has every reason to feel confident having got the better of six-time national women’s champion and her LIC teammate P. Nirmala to win the bronze in the last week’s Senior Nationals in Akola.
“Well, it is not going to be easy but the urge is there,” reminds Appoorwa gently at the felicitation function put up by the Hyderabad Carrom Association for her and the newly-crowned youngest-ever Senior national men’s singles champion K. Srinivas. These comments coming from someone who is the first World Cup champion from the City in any sport might not sound comforting for all those rivals likely to run into her.
Interestingly, it was the same venue which also saw Nirmala, the former World No. 2, too seriously contemplating making it big again in the world of carom. “I am playing well but somehow not able to finish off the big games. I want to win big title again,” she remarked. But, the intensity in her eyes was all too discernible to be ignored.
Well, this is the scenario which the carom promoters from Hyderabad are desperately looking for. The fact that Srinivas won the senior national title after D. Ravinder Goud did so about six years ago may well indicate the growing competition in the circuit.
In a way, the simple function was also symbolic of many aspects of how the sport is governed and promoted. For among those who were present included founder-president of Hyderabad Carrom Association B. K. Haranath, founder member and 80-year-old M. P. Bhave , retired Assistant Director, IICT and who is known for his passion in conducting the annual IICT event religious fervour.
Perhaps, renowned badminton coach and Dronacharya S. M. Arif should know better what it means to promote the not-so glamorous sport like carom as the Regional Carrom Coaching Centre is located on the balcony of the Fateh Maidan indoor stadium, from where he produced so many champion shuttlers including Manoj Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Pullela Gopi Chand, Lakshmi. And his presence also meant a token gesture of appreciating what is clearly selfless service to carom which has the distinction of giving permanent job to 36 outstanding players over the years.