After publicly crying foul over her exclusion from India’s badminton squad for the Asian Games, experienced shuttler Aparna Balan has filed a petition against the Union of India, the Badminton Association of India (BAI), chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, and players Gayatri Gopichand and Aakarshi Kashyap in the Kerala High Court.
In a writ petition (a copy of which is in possession of Sportskeeda), dated 29th June, 2018, the 31-year-old shuttler has challenged her 'malafide exclusion' for the Asian Games. She has further alleged that it was in the interest of Gopichand, who wanted to include his daughter Gayatri, that she was not named in the squad.
Earlier, the BAI had previously decided to give automatic selection to nine male players and four female players on the basis of their recent performances on the international circuit, thus leaving one spot in the men's team and six spots in the women's team up for grabs.
Two all-India senior ranking tournaments were organised in Bangalore and Hyderabad to fill these spots and to provide the domestic players with a chance to make it to the squad. After the two tournaments concluded, the BAI selected the young duo of Rutaparna Panda and Aarthi Sara Sunil as the second pair in women’s doubles.
Incidentally, Rutaparna and Aarthi, who won the title in Bangalore and finished at the semifinals at Hyderabad, have the same points as Aparna and her partner Sruthi KP, who won the title in Hyderabad and were semifinalists in Bangalore.
Moreover, the 10-member Asian Games squad is usually comprised of four singles players (two players to participate and two as back up) and three doubles pairs (two pairs to participate and one as back up). However, in this case, as many as six singles players, namely PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Sai Uttejitha Rao, Ashmita Chaliha, Gayatri Gopichand and Aakarshi Kashyap, have been selected.
Aparna has requested the high court to pass an order allowing her and her partner to be included in the squad. She has also requested the court to ask the BAI not to forward the select team list to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) until it takes a decision regarding the matter.Published 02 Jul 2018, 21:29 IST