Engagement rules Akilan Pari out of India’s basketball World Cup qualifier

When his teammates will be sweating it out against Lebanon on Monday, the guard will be with family members and close friends at the engagement ceremony.

Published: 24th February 2018 11:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2018 11:45 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: India missed the services of key players Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh in the World Cup basketball qualifier against Jordan on Friday in Bengaluru. The home team will once again be without the star duo, and also guard Akilan Pari when they face Lebanon at Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Monday.

Pari will not be available as he is set to get engaged on match day. The hoopster had approached the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) for leave and has been granted the same.

“I asked them permission around two weeks ago, and after some discussion they gave me the green signal. It is just for one match, so the BFI were okay with it,” Pari told Express.

No player wants to miss any match, and Pari is one of India’s best ball-handlers, who gets the team going with his assists and individual skills. Though he would have loved to play for India and then get married, fate had other plans.

As per Hindu traditions, special events are only conducted on auspicious days. There were just two dates for them to get engaged in February.

“There were only two auspicious dates in February for the engagement to take place. They were 19th and 26th and the former was not possible as my fiancee's cousin was getting married. So, 26th happened to be the only date for us to get engaged,” said Pari.

When his teammates will be sweating it out against Lebanon on Monday, the guard will be with family members and close friends at the engagement ceremony. However, there is much to be done for the player, who left for Chennai the same night his team lost to Jordan. He was so busy with the qualifiers that he did not have time for shopping.

Passionate about the team, Pari has made arrangements to keep track of the India-Lebanon match on his engagement day. “My friends from my Income Tax and the state teams will be attending the wedding and they will provide me with updates. I will surely watch the highlights later on.”

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