All of India's top shuttlers to play in senior national championships: BAI President
Hyderabad, Sep 9 (PTI): Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, K Srikanth and all other star shuttlers would play in the Badminton Senior National Championship to be held in Nagpur in November, Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Himanta Biswa Sarma said here today. "I am happy to share with you that after many years, you will see entire senior players playing nationals in Nagpur. So I presume that will be considered a very good beginning for Badminton in India," he told reporters here.
The seniors have not been able to participate in National Championship for some time now due to their schedules and other reasons, he said. "Apart from our commitments, Super Series, World Cup, whatever, along with that, let's also build our nationals as a very good product," Sarma said.
Sarma, who was here to attend the GST Council Meeting, interacted with chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth and others on issues concerning the game. He gave away cheques worth Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh to Sindhu and Saina respectively on the occasion for winning medals at the recently concluded World Championship at Glasgow. Heaping praise on Gopichand, Sindhu, Saina, Shrikant for their "exceptional performance" in recent times, Sarma said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the entire nation has acknowledged their efforts.
Sarma also said he has committed to the players that all their issues or concerns like timely grant of visas for the tournaments would be addressed. "They don't see anything that we are not supported by the Association, that kind of feeling should not be there," he added. He said the Premier Badminton League (PBL) used to happen for two-weeks earlier but it will be three-weeks long this time around. "We will also try to make PBL a very vibrant brand this time," he said.
Replying to a query, the BAI president said the Sports Authority of India (SAI) suggested that there should be a dedicated doubles camp also in Delhi. "But, it doesn't mean that the doubles camp which is running at present in Gopi's Academy, that will be shifted. Hyderabad or Gopi's Academy will remain epicentre and there is no confusion on that..... Gopi will remain the chief coach," he said.
"It is completely up to the players, wherever they find comfortable, they can go. The special doubles coach, who is training the Indian doubles players will continue," he said. BAI's vision is to have five "outstanding centres" in north, south, west, east and north-east, but it will take time to realise this as it involves huge funds, he said.
"If we get sponsorship, if we get support from the government, we should have more training camps. All these camps should operate under Gopi because he is a chief national coach of Badminton Association of India," Sarma said.