India’s national men’s team will make their debut at an Asia Oceania Championships next week in Pattaya, Thailand.

The Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India have been developing their national men’s programme for a number of years and gradually emerging at an international level with appearances for their Under 23 team in 2017 and their senior team in 2018 at the Central & East Asia Qualifying Tournament for the Asia Para Games.

Now twelve athletes will make history for India as they head to their first ever Asia Oceania Championships. Commenting on the team’s selection and their preparation for the Championships, India’s Head Coach, Shara Nagane, said:

“We have a very balanced and highly enthusiastic team with a mix of young and experienced skilful bunch of players.

“We have been preparing well with all the best resources available, under the guidance of two Team India coaches who have been following the guidelines set by foreign coaches who visited India. Although the team would have benefited more if we could have had got more exposure matches, I believe our team is ready to put up brave performances against experienced opponents.

“Our ultimate team goal is to be able to play at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games. However, we are hoping to learn advanced skills from players from all over the world and learn new techniques and strategies watching the experienced teams play.”

Named as one of the key players for India by the head-coach, was India’s captain Suresh Kumar Karki. Karki explained how he felt to have been selected, saying:

“I’m feeling very proud to have got such huge responsibility and for being able to compete at the 2019 Asia Oceania Championships. I’m also happy to get the chance to play the best teams and make my country proud.”

45 year old Karki made his international debut at the Central & East Asia Qualifying Tournament for the Asia Para Games, which took place in Bangkok in March 2018, but he has been playing for a number of years previous and playing wheelchair basketball means so much to him. He said:

“I have been playing basketball for the past 11 years, being an athlete has given me a positive perspective to life. It helped me make better decisions and live life on and off the field. Most importantly I have become physically and mentally fit and learnt discipline.”

Discussing the teams’ hopes for the Championships, he added:

“Our first goal is to qualify for next level that is Division 1, and most importantly to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games.

“I am very excited about competing against the best teams in world. This gives us a lot of learning opportunities, new perspectives to the game as well as life. We are going to play and compete with the best and experienced teams, with the help of teams on and off the field we are confident of making our nation proud.”

India have been drawn in Pool B of Division 2 and will play Iraq, Malaysia, and the Philippines in a single round robin in the pool stage to determine placing, followed by crossovers, semi-finals and then a final to determine the top two teams from Division 2 that will get promoted to the quarter-finals of Division 1.

Team Roster

Shirt Number Player Name Sport Class Age
4 Arul Augustus Wilson Devadoss 4.5 24
5 Anil Kumar Kachhi 2 34
6 Koteshwar Ramavath 3.5 28
7 Jagannathan Deivasigamani 2 29
8 Javed Ramjan Choudhari 4 25
9 Suresh Kumar Karki 1 45
10 Sudhanshu Patel 1.5 22
11 Ramesh Shanmugam 4 25
12 Mohd Fahim 3 19
13 Ajit Kumar Shukla 2 39
14 Mohd Latief Bhat 2 42
15 Varun Karkhanis 4.5 37


Photo courtesy of Wheelchair Basketball Federation India.