The 29th edition of Smt. Krishna Khaitan Memorial All India Junior Ranking Badminton tournament will be held when the situation gets better.
The organizing secretary Sanjiv Sachdeva has admitted that the present situation is not right to hold the badminton tournament but it will be held sooner rather than later.
The annual junior national-level badminton tournament was scheduled to be held in Panchkula from January 11 to 17 at the Tau Devi Lal Multipurpose Indoor Stadium, Panchkula.
However, the rise in Covid-19 cases in and around Panchkula has forced the organizers to postpone the tournament. It was supposed to mark the beginning of the junior domestic season of the Badminton Association of India (BAI).
The week-long annual Krishna Khaitan tournament is organized every year by the Express Shuttle Club Trust under the aegis of Haryana Badminton Association.
In a letter to its affiliated units, the BAI said they took the decision on the advice of the state government in view of the players’ safety.
“Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state of Haryana, State Government Authorities have advised not to conduct Yonex-Sunrise Krishna Khaitan All India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament at Panchkula,” said BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania.
Chandigarh-based former Indian badminton team coach Sanjiv Sachdeva has ruled out the cancelation of the tournament. He is optimistic about holding the tournament as and when the circumstances get better in the next few weeks.
“There is no doubt that the current state of affairs is not ideal to hold the tournament. We had done all our preparations regarding the tournament but government authorities have asked us to put off the event. They are of the opinion that the safety of the players cannot be compromised. We understood the situation and postponed the tourney,” said Sanjiv Sachdeva while talking to Sportskeeda.
The first Ashwani Gupta Memorial All India Sub-Junior ranking tournament, which started on January 2, will conclude on January 9 in Panchkula. Hundreds of players from across the country are competing in the Under-15 and Under-17 categories.
Huge loss for the participating players, says senior badminton coach
Most of the U-17 players were scheduled to take part in the Krishna Khaitan tournament which was slated to be held after a one-day gap.
However, the postponement of the Krishna Khaitan tournament at the last moment has sent the planning of the players and parents’ haywire.
“Since both the tournaments were being held at the same venue, the majority of the U-17 players have sent entries for the U-19 tournament too. They have all booked hotel rooms and planned their travel itinerary accordingly. Now they have canceled hotel bookings and altered their travel plans. It was a huge financial loss for the players and parents,” said one of the senior coaches of the reputed National Badminton Academy.
Express Shuttle Club has been conducting the Krishna Khaitan Memorial All India Junior Ranking tournament continuously for the last three decades. Krishna Khaitan Memorial is one of the oldest tournaments in the country and very popular among the upcoming juniors. There were also selection trials for the Indian junior team’s forthcoming Europe tour.