Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and chess legend Vishwanathan Anand have been excluded from the All India Council of Sports (AICS) -- a government advisory panel created for assistance on matters relating to the development of sports.
The AICS, which was formed by the BJP government in 2015 by then sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal, has welcomed former cricketers Harbhajan Singh and Krishnamachari Srikkanth as new members on the panel.
Two other famous sports personalities that were not included in the panel are badminton’s chief national coach Pullela Gopichand and former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia.
Reports claim that the names of Sachin Tendulkar and Vishwanathan Anand were not considered for the panel as the two had been mostly absent in the committee meetings. While, as per reports, Tokyo Olympics preparations had kept Pullela Gopichand busy, allowing little time to attend the AICS.
Other new members who have joined the AICS this term are Limba Ram (archery), PT Usha (athletics), Bachendri Pal (mountaineering), Deepa Malik (para-athlete), Anjali Bhagwat (shooting), Renedy Singh (football), and Yogeshwar Dutt (Wrestling).
India's top players, including ace shuttler PV Sindhu, may not be going through the best of times but national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand is still hopeful of the best-ever Olympics outing in Tokyo.
"We have had some good performances in the last couple of Olympics. This time we will go into the Olympics with a world champion in our team (PV Sindhu), and hopefully, with some good preparations, we can come back with better performances than what we have had in the previous games," said Gopichand.
PV Sindhu is currently the reigning women's singles world champion having clinched the title by beating Japan's Nozomi Okuhara at Basel, Switzerland in August last year.