As inside stories tumble out post-India’s Thomas Cup win, one might grate with football fans halfway across the world. While the frenzy generated by England’s run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia and the final of Euro 2020 was ubiquitous with chants of ‘It’s Coming Home’, the trophy eluded them on both occasions. However, as a rallying cry, its influence has spread to corners far and wide, most notably with a WhatsApp group created by HS Prannoy, a member of the victorious Thomas Cup-winning team. Speaking to NDTV, the shuttler revealed how the group was essential to the success of the team:
“I created that WhatsApp group. The name was ‘It’s coming home’ and it actually came home. That group was very necessary and important. Wanted a group where all the players were in it because there’s a lot of things that you can’t share with everyone out there. The players could discuss things very freely. And that really helped.”
Having raced to a 2-0 lead in a best-of-5 game rubber in their Group C tie against Chinese Taipei, the Indians would narrowly lose 2-3. Morale was a little low after the tie, but to HS Prannoy’s credit, the platform was in place to bounce back from the crushing loss. “We had issues and setbacks in between. We lost to Chinese Taipei in the group stage.
“To regroup after that loss was very important. The (WhatsApp) group helped each and every player immensely. We could just express what was needed”, added Prannoy.
While the 29-year-old Delhite was in his element as the chief motivator of the team, his on-court exploits were equally crucial to the Indian contingent. Locked at 2-2 in the quarter-finals against Malaysia, Prannoy stepped up against Leong Jun Hao. Comfortably easing past the Malaysian 21-13, 21-8 in the deciding rubber, he ensured a medal for India in the prestigious Thomas Cup. His status as a clutch player was further embellished in a tense deciding rubber against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke. Unfazed by his higher-ranked opponent and fighting off injury, he emerged victorious by a score of 13-21, 21-9, 21-12.
Having done his bit both on and off the field, the shuttler could rest easy as he watched his teammates seal the trophy with three straight wins in the final against record champions Indonesia.