Sharath Kamal to play for Borussia Dusseldorf in Bundesliga from January

The table tennis player is planning to fly to Germany on January 10

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Sharath Kamal will travel to Germany in January to ply his trade in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dusseldorf.

He was set to leave earlier straight after the conclusion of the national camp, but the trip got delayed due to visa issues.

"I am planning to leave for Germany on January 10. I need a visitor's visa to play there but the German embassy isn't issuing it currently due to the pandemic. However, with the intervention of the Sports Ministry and SAI (Sports Authority of India), I hope to get it," stated the paddler to Times of India.

Kamal’s club-mates include world No. 10 Timo Ball of Germany and Sweden’s 29th-ranked Karlsson Kristian. His hopes of participating in the Champions League, also held in Germany earlier this week, had been dashed after visa issues.

But the 38-year-old will come back to India in February so that he can take part in the table tennis nationals, before once again leaving for the European nation.

Achanta Sharath Kamal. Photo: ITTF

He feels that the nationals offer high competitive value and revealed that he was not the first choice option for his club in the Bundesliga - a huge factor in his decision to not miss the nationals.

"The Table Tennis senior nationals is scheduled to be held at Sonepat in the second week of February. However, if they plan to hold it earlier then my Germany trip will have to be rescheduled. The quality of games in the nationals is quite high and I don't want to miss it. 

"Also, I am playing in the German league only as a substitute player. So, I wouldn't know how many games I will get to play. The plan is to come back for nationals and then go back to train in Germany. I will want to spend some time there before the Tokyo Games," he explained. 

The world number 32 has been already training with his fellow national colleagues in Sonepat and is regaining the match sharpness which had declined due to lack of competitive action due to Covid-19. 

"We were there for over 40 days. Before that, we were only training during the lockdown and the chance to play with other players was great. More importantly, the rush and feeling the pressure of playing a match was just fantastic," he signed off. 

The Table Tennis contingent are yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Earlier this year, the hopes of both the Men's and Women's Indian teams were dashed as they failed to qualify for the Olympics in the team qualifying event held in Portugal in January 2020.

Their aim will now be to secure the singles and mixed doubles berths that are still up for grabs. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) calendar has already resumed post the pandemic.