India’s top basketball players Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh watched helplessly from the sidelines as their team went down to Jordan in a crucial FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier on Friday.
The home side’s chances of featuring in the 2019 World Cup suffered a blow with the 88-102 loss to Jordan. India needed the services of Amjyot and Amritpal, who play professionally overseas.
The duo, according to The Hindu, did not take part because they were not among the 24 names the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) initially sent to FIBA.
BFI Secretary General Chander Mukhi Sharma said both players were excluded because they had not played for India in the past.
“Because they didn’t play for India in the past, the trust between the selectors and them was broken,” Sharma was quoted in the report. “Our disciplinary committee was looking into it. So they were not on the list of 24 we initially sent to FIBA. We could not be sure that they were going to be available.”
“By the time they confirmed, it was too late to add their names. We wrote to FIBA and were hopeful but they replied to us yesterday stating that they could not play,” he added.
According to The Times of India, Amjyot missed India’s qualifiers against Lebanon and Syria in November last year due to his commitments with the Oklahoma City Blue in the NBA G-League while Amritpal – who plays for Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL – had to skip the Syria home tie to attend to his ailing father.