Indian badminton team celebrate after wining Thomas Cup. Photo:ANI
New Delhi: Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday announced a cash award of Rs 1 crore for the Indian men's badminton team which created history by winning the coveted Thomas Cup title for the first time.
Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma also announced a a reward of Rs 1 crore for the winning squad. Sarma also announced an award of Rs 20 lakh for the support staff.
India scripted a spectacular 3-0 victory over 14-time champions Indonesia in the Thomas Cup final in Bangkok on Sunday.
"India's extraordinary feat of winning the Thomas Cup with successive victories over Malaysia, Denmark and Indonesia in the play-offs called for a relaxation of rules," said Thakur in a statement.
"It is with pride that I announce the award of Rs 1 crore to the team that Indians so much joy this weekend.”
Thakur complimented the players, coaches and support staff of the Indian team for the historic triumph.
"Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy kept a clean slate by winning each time they stepped on court. The doubles combination of SatwiksairakjRankireddy and Chirag Shetty raised the bar to win decisive points in five of the six matches, including all three in the knockout stage," he said.
"Lakshya Sen showed nerves of steel in winning the opening match against Indonesia. I am sure that doubles combination of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila ad Krishna Prasad Garaga and Panjala Vishnuvardhan Goud as well as Priyanshu Rajawat will have gained immensely by being part of this historic campaign."
Sarma, who is also the chief minister of Assam, said, "It's a very proud moment for Indian badminton. We have had many individual triumphs but winning the Thomas Cup crown is very special.
The Sports Ministry said it contributed to the unprecedented success of the team by providing the players training and competition support.
"A 10-week National Camp starting January helped raise fitness levels of the players. The support to engage Mathias Boe as coach to assist the doubles combinations has been significant as well," the statement added.
"Over the past four years, the Ministry has extended funding worth Rs 67.19 crore to the Indian badminton players towards training and competition, including salaries of foreign and Indian coaches.
"And in the past year alone, the Ministry has supported as many as 14 international exposure trips at a cost of Rs 4.50 crore."