At 13 years old, tennis player Chandni Srinivasan does not want much. The Hyderabad local is the No.1 player in the girls U-14 category in India but has hit a roadblock in furthering her career, one that is all too common for young sportspersons in India — a lack of funds. On a campaign to get herself some support, Srinivasan took to Twitter to address Indian billionaire businessman Anand Mahindra.
Dear @anandmahindra uncle. I am Chandni Srinivasan, India No 1 in Under 14 in Tennis.— Tennis Champ (@SriniTennis) January 24, 2021
I read abt ur gift of SUVs to 6 young Indian Players.👏👏👏
I don't need SUV, but I need support to go forward in Tennis. Request you to provide support to me. pic.twitter.com/MzpFrhFytU
Chandni Srinivasan’s decision to petition the Mahindra Group chairman is not entirely random. Of course, a part of it is that he is one of the country's richest people and tennis, being an expensive sport, requires that kind of investment. But another huge part of Srinivasan’s decision to pinpoint Mahindra as her potential sponsor is the fact that the business mogul has a keen interest in sports. Just last month Mahindra announced a reward for six of the Indian Men's cricket team's youngest players, each of whom played a crucial role in the team's historic victory in Australia.
In a tweet after India's Border-Gavaskar trophy win, Anand Mahindra had written that he would be gifting the brand new Mahindra Thar SUVs to Mohammed Siraj, T. Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Shubman Gill and Navdeep Saini out of his own pocket, with no cost to his company. “The reason for this gift is to exhort young people to believe in themselves & Take the road less travelled,” Mahindra wrote. This is the idea that Srinivasan latched on to as she requested his help in furthering her career — a path that is surely a less travelled one in India.
Chandni became the No. 1 ranked player in the country in the U-14 category in March last year following the publication of AITA rankings. As the runner up of the U-12 nationals, she was selected to play in the Asian U-12 Championship in Kazakhstan. Since 2019, she has won 6 Super Series U-14 titles, including the U-14 Super Series title at the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy and one at the South Club in Kolkata. She was also selected to represent the country at the World Junior Championship in Gold Coast last March. She has not received any public reply from Anand Mahindra as of now.
Meanwhile, in the world of cricket, the India vs England 1st Test is set to begin on February 5. The Test will take place in Chennai and is scheduled to begin at 9:30 AM IST. The entire series can be watched live on television on the Star Sports Network and can be streamed live on the Disney+Hotstar app and website. Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and Shubman Gill are a part of the squad announced for the first two Tests.