The 45-year-old Hyderabad Carrom Association (HCA), which for long was the body catering to the Telangana region, is all set to take a new avatar, that of the Carrom Association of Telangana, next month.
For an association which can take pride in producing two world champions — S. Appoorwa of Life Insurance Corporation and K. Srinivas of the Indian Oil Corporation — it will wear a new look to meet the aspirations of all 31 districts in the State.
Some significant changes are in the offing, with founding member and incumbent president of the association 78-year-old B.K. Haranath reportedly conveying to secretary S. Madan Raj and other office-bearers that he would not be able to continue to hold any post, though he would love to be associated in promoting the sport and be a guiding force.
Mr. Haranath is also said to have decided to quit as president of the Hyderabad District Carrom Association, paving the way for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Corporator Vijayalakshmi to take over the post.
It has been a truly remarkable journey for those associated with the HCA over the last four decades, despite being frequently snubbed by those heading other associations of Olympic sports. “What is this sport which is not played by more than 10 countries?” critics used to say.
However, carrom is one sport which has been able to beat some the best performers in Olympic disciplines in terms of helping its players get jobs in Public Sector Undertakings, banks, and Accountant General’s Office by virtue of their outstanding performance in national and international events.
But, every time the association was snubbed, it came back stronger thanks to powerful performances from seasoned players like P. Nirmala and S. Appoorwa in the women’s category to the latest stars Srinivas, R.D. Dinesh Babu, who won the U.S. Open, and Vemuri Anil Kumar, who won the US Open doubles championship, to name a few.
To mark the beginning of the new body, the first-ever State championship under the new banner would be held in Nizamabad next month. The idea was to ensure that the system, which governs the sport, doesn’t come crashing down if one of the top bosses steps down, said a senior official.