Injured shuttler Parupalli Kashyap forced to participate in South Asian Games
A strong quarter-final finish saw India’s Parupalli Kahsyap exit the tournament with an abdominal strain. The injury forced him to request the Sports Ministry for a leave for rehabilitation. Despite repeated inquiries, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has replied by sending him air tickets for the tournament, which is set to begin on February 5.
Kashyap has raised serious questions about BAI’s decision as there are only 12 weeks left for the 2016 Rio Olympics. A major injury could see the world number 14 make a premature exit from tournament proceedings. The former world number 8 is also attempting to make an upward ranking surge to garner valuable Olympic qualifying points.
He said, “I had a major abdominal strain in Lucknow. I have missed as much as seven important tournaments last year due to injury. I even pulled out of the Thailand Masters. The BAI want me to play the South Asian Games. However, I am in no position to play the tournament and don’t think I will go forward with it.”
The 29-year old added, “I have written several letters to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), I even spoke to DG SAI Injeti Srinivas but I am yet to receive any news about it. Instead they have sent me tickets for the event. My case is special as I have a serious injury and might risk my Olympic chances if I go ahead.”
“Out of the remaining 12 weeks, I will be able to play only seven weeks considering my current fitness level. It is of utmost importance that I return to full form prior to the event. I understand the government wants to field the best team, but I’m just not ready for it.”
Kashyap suffered a calf muscle tear in October, while playing the French Open. This saw his rankings plummet from a career high , eight, now he is racing against time to return to the Olympic fold. He added, “The next few weeks are very difficult for me. I have the German, Swiss, All England tournaments coming up as a part of the European circuit, I don’t have time for anything else. If I end up playing I will worsen my injury. However, the BAI or government are not listening to me.”