The Badminton Association of India (BAI) team visited Nagpur and Raipur this week to inspect the facilities of the respective venues ahead of the International Challenge Badminton tournaments to be held in the two cities.
Nagpur and Raipur will host any Badminton World Federation (BWF) international tournament for the first time in history. The India Maharashtra International Badminton Challenge 2022 will be held in Nagpur from September 13-18.
The world-class Divisional Sports Complex in Mankapur will host the six-day long international tournament in Nagpur. It will also mark the launch of international badminton tournaments in Orange City.
Soon after, Raipur will host the Indian Chhattisgarh International Challenge 2022 from September 20-25. The Balbir Juneja Indoor Stadium in Raipur will host the first-ever international tournament in the capital of Chhattisgarh.
General Secretary of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) Sanjay Mishra will be the organizing in-charge of the Raipur tournament.
The BAI delegation visited Raipur on Thursday and did a recce of the venue and other facilities. Sanjay Mishra escorted the BAI team as they checked various facilities, including the hotel's quality and availability.
The BAI inspection team then reached Nagpur on Friday and visited the Divisional Sports Complex in Mankapur. Members of the Nagpur District Badminton Association (NDBA) accompanied the BAI delegation. Former international shuttler Madhavi Kashikar-Hedaoo was also with the NDBA committee.
Inspection of the badminton courts, changing rooms, toilets, light arrangements and spectators’ gallery was done.
BAI delegation satisfied with basic facilities at Nagpur’s Mankapur Stadium: NDBA secretary Mangesh Kashikar
NDBA secretary Mangesh Kashikar, who was with BAI officials for a couple of hours at the stadium, was happy with the development.
“The BAI delegation was pretty satisfied with the basic facilities at the Mankapur Stadium. We have 12 courts but they said they will only use eight courts for the tournament. The rest of the area will be used as a warm-up zone for the players. We are also laying out new Yonex synthetic courts to match the international standards,” Mangesh Kashikar told Sportskeeda on Friday.
Mangesh Kashikar, a former national-level shuttler, informed Sportskeeda that the new lighting system will be done soon. The air conditioning facilities will also be ready at the Mankapur Stadium ahead of the tournament.
“In the next few weeks, the entire lighting arrangements of the stadium will be changed. If the BAI organizing committee wants to use the AC facilities, they will be provided during the course of the tournament. We are also upgrading other necessary requirements such as toilets and changing rooms so that there won’t be any complaints from the participating international players,” said Kashikar, who is also a member of the BAI tournament committee.
More than a hundred foreign players are expected to take part in the Nagpur and Raipur International Challenge tournaments.
The BWF allotted two additional International Challenge tournaments to India in June. The world governing body of sports accepted the request of the BAI for two more tournaments.
In addition to two World Tour Super tournaments, India also hosts one Infosys Foundation International Challenge in Bengaluru and one junior international tournament in Pune.
Central India’s most popular cities, Nagpur and Raipur, have hosted national-level badminton tournaments earlier.
The 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship was held at the Divisional Sports Complex Mankapur in Nagpur in 2017. The first-ever Senior Nationals in Nagpur were a grand success with the participation of all top players, including Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, and HS Prannoy.
Maharashtra Badminton Association president and BAI treasurer Arun Lakhani and his team are working hard to make the forthcoming international tournament a grand success.