By Vivek Prabhakar SinghNew Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): Former Asian badminton champion Dinesh Khanna on Sunday congratulated the Indian badminton team for winning its first-ever Thomas Cup trophy, saying that it is like India's first-ever triumph in cricket in the 1983 world cup.
"It is absolutely fantastic. It is like winning the world cup in cricket for the first time in 1983. Thomas Cup as we know is the top team championship in the sport for men. So, there is nothing more greater than this win, as far as team championship for men in the sport is concerned. I think this is a great moment for Indian badminton and we all Indians are proud of this achievement," said Khanna in an exclusive interview to ANI.
Talking about the tie against Indonesia, Khanna said that all the matches were close, particularly the doubles match which was won by Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.
"They lost the first game. They were down in the second and a near miss by the Indonesian cost them the game and the match. So, that turned the whole tide and Srikanth played absolutely brilliant game. He has very smooth flowing strokes, a very easy style and he showed it to the hilt. I must say that our players kept their cool and showed great temperament and nerve. In a team event like this when you are playing the finals, it is not only the skill of the game. It is equally important that you have the temperament and nerve to finish off the matches," he said.
"Srikanth in the second game infact was down game point but he showed great fight back and came back to take the game and the match and the tie for the country," he added.
About the cash award of Rs 1 crore announced by Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Khanna said that it is a very well-deserved reward.
"There are only five countries who have won the Thomas Cup to date and India becomes the sixth country. It is a huge achievement and I am sure it will give a big boost to the game in the country," he added.
Indian badminton team created history on Sunday as they lifted the Thomas Cup trophy for the very first time.
In what was India's first-ever appearance in the tournament finale, they defeated the record 14-time champions Indonesia in the Thomas Cup 2022 final at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand by 3-0 to lift the coveted trophy.
No Indian team has previously reached the final of the Thomas and Uber Cup in its 70-plus year history. Indian men reached the Thomas Cup semi-finals in 1952, 1955 and 1979 while the women's team made it to the Uber Cup top-four in 2014 and 2016. (ANI)