Top shuttlers will participate in Senior Nationals: BAI chief
(Eds: Updating with more information)
Kochi, Sep 11 (PTI) Top shuttlers, including P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, will participate at the Senior National Championships -- which will offer an increased prize money of Rs one crore -- to be held from November 2 to 8 in Nagpur.
Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Himanta Biswa Sarma said today that top players have volutarily agreed to participate in this year's Senior Nationals, where players will be getting prize money from the pre-quarters stage.
"When we conduct our national tournament, normally our seniors choose not to play. Like Saina has not participated in our nationals since long. I have not seen her playing in our nationals since 2010," Sarma told reporters on the sidelines of the Manorama BWF World Senior Championships here.
"In Bengaluru we have taken a decision -- all our national players need to play in our senior national badminton championship. So this year, we are going to have championship from November 2 to November 8 in Nagpur.
"We will be increasing the prize money close to 1 crore from this year and the players will be getting prize money from the pre-quarters stage," he added.
Sarma said he had a discussion with the senior players about their participation in the Senior Nationals.
"Before coming to Kochi I had a meeting with all the senior players and this time because of our hectic engagement with all the players -- all the players have voluntarily decided to participate in the senior nationals," he said.
"It will be after years, where we will see in our senior nationals Saina, Sindhu -- everybody will join."
Interestingly, Macau Open Grand Prix Gold will be held from November 7 to 12. Sindhu have won the women's singles title thrice from 2013 to 2015.
Sarma said: "All the players having international engagement normally play in our nationals because of three factors -- 1) they fear injury because our location is such that we may not have a good international standard of sports. 2) their international commitment, 3) national used to be conducted in a very casual manner -- sometimes games come up midnight, sometimes it is very early morning.
Sarma said BAI will soon decide the locations where the five national coaching centres will be set up in the country.
"We have decided to set up five national badminton centres-- one in north, one in south, one in east, one in west and one in northeast," he said.
"We will be finalising the locations soon. We will go to the state governments requesting for land."
Sarma said the BAI needs eight acres of land in each region to develop the facilities.
"BAI is pursuing a bigger goal. We don't have a national coaching centre, we don't have any regional coaching centre of our own. We are doing it in somebody's infrastructure," he said