The withdrawal of senior players such as Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap from the 79th Senior National Badminton Championship has forced organisers to take the superstars to court. Irked by their absence, the Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association (ABPA) has decided to take a firm stand on the issue.
Apart from Nehwal and Kashyap, top players such as Ajay Jayaram have also withdrawn from the tournament. ABPA Secretary, K Punnaiah Choudhary said, ” Senior Nationals is the premier tournament in the country. How can these players miss these events? We are witnessing this trend only now. Earlier, all the top players used to compete in the Nationals. Even Sachin Tendulkar used to play Ranji Trophy.
He added, “We are not going to take this issue lightly. We will move court as BAI is also losing a lot," Choudhary said and asked why the government should honour these players with national awards.”
"These players apply for top honours from the government but don't do their bit by giving back to the game when it is required. The presence of these players could have popularised the game in this part of the country.”
"Every year organisers of the Nationals are suffering because of their absence. Saina started this trend a few years back and others are following now. We'll request the court to direct the government to stop honouring these players."
Choudhary also went on to add that the players participated in the Indian Badminton League (IBL) without any problems and that players send fake medical certificates.
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) made it compulsory for senior ranked players to participate in the Nationals. However, some of the athletes have just partipated in the team event and not the singles. He said this in reference to P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth.
Indian national team coach Pulela Gopichand said, "This is a serious problem and we have to address it."