The Badminton Association of India (BAI) will conduct selection trials for the Sudirman Cup as well as the Thomas and Uber Cup in Hyderabad by month-end.
The two-day trials will be held at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad in the last week of August which will also finalize the team for the Sudirman Cup.
The prestigious Sudirman Cup Mixed Team Championship will be held from September 26 to October 3 in Vantaa, Finland. Men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles are played in the Sudirman Cup mixed team competition.
Soon after the Sudirman Cup, Thomas and Uber Cup will be played from October 9 to 17 at Aarhus in Denmark. The Thomas Cup is a team championship for men’s, while Uber Cup is a team championship for women’s. Three singles and two doubles are played in the best-of-five-match format.
BAI on Thursday declared a nine-member team for the Sudirman Cup, which included four members who recently did duty at the Tokyo Olympics.
Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist PV Sindhu, former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal and women’s doubles pair Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy have been named in the women’s section.
The five-member men’s team consisted of B Sai Praneeth, former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen and the men’s doubles combination of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
The BAI selected these nine players on the basis of their high world rankings and current form. The rest of the members will be added to the final squad after the selection trials in Hyderabad.
According to a BAI circular released on Thursday, the national governing body of sports wanted to call 75 players including seniors and juniors for the trials. They had planned selection trials for the men’s singles and women’s singles from August 18 to 22, while the trials for the doubles were scheduled to be organized from August 23 to 27. All players have been asked to report to the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad a day prior to their trials.
However, it has been learnt that some of the affiliated states and prominent academies have taken objection to the list of 75 players and wanted some changes in the list.
“The list of 75 players was not appropriate and not based on the current form and rankings. One of the players on the list, Shlok Ramchandran, has already retired from the game. Some of the players don’t deserve a place on the list and some of the deserving players have been left out. Many states and leading academies took objection to the list,” said a source who did not wish to be named.
BAI cancels proposed selection trials of 75 players for Sudirman Cup
After the complaints from several quarters, the BAI decided to cancel the proposed trials of 75 players and told their affiliated units that the new decision will be conveyed to them in a few days’ time.
Some of the states informed their players that BAI will shortly announce the new dates for the shortened version of trials.
“Please ignore the mail sent by Mr Manoj Singh (BAI) as this list is considered for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. Selection regarding the Sudirman Cup and Tomas and Uber Cup will be decided by the BAI shortly and the same will be informed to you in due course,” said a mail sent by one of the leading states to their players on Thursday afternoon.
According to sources, around 20 players will be called for the trials now instead of 75. The selection trials will be of a shorter duration of two days. Two or three players in the women’s singles will be added as PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have been picked.
In the men’s singles, Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen have been picked and one or two players will be added after the selection trials. Each pair will be added to all three doubles sections.
The final Indian squad is likely to be declared by the BAI after the shortened selection trials in the last week of August.