India's Uber Cup team to get Rs. 40 lakh cash prize from BAI
New Delhi, May 27 (IANS): The Badminton Association of India (BAI) Tuesday announced a cash reward of Rs. 40 lakh for the women's team that created history by winning the maiden bronze medal in the just concluded Uber Cup.
It was the first podium finish by India in the prestigious biennial event by qualifying for the semi-finals where they lost to silver medallists Japan. China defended their title successfully by clinching the gold Saturday.
"The women's team has made us proud with the way they played last week. The BAI is providing the best facilities to the players to perform on the international stage and the cash prize is just a part of our commitment towards the players," BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta said.
The chief architects of India's performance - captain Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa -- will receive cash rewards of Rs.5 lakh each while the remaining amount will be distributed among the other players and staff members.
The BAI also announced a separate Rs. 10 lakh reward for chief coach Pullela Gopichand for being honoured with the Padma Bhushan earlier in the year by the Indian government.
Meanwhile, Das Gupta also rubbished reports about the possible appointment of Danish legend Morten Frost as the coach of the Indian team adding that he had full faith in former All-England champion Gopichand.
"Gopichand has been doing a fantastic job as head coach and we have full faith in his abilities to take India ahead on the international scene. The BAI is only looking for a specialised doubles coach which has been a weak link for the country in team events," said the president.
"However, we haven't zeroed down on any specific names for the same. Whosoever is appointed, will be working directly under head coach Gopichand."