Sindhu, Saina, Srikanth get direct entry into National Championship quarters
Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal (Image credit-The Indian Express)
Bengaluru: The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Saturday announced that the all the players ranked in the top 50 will earn a direct entry into the quarter-finals of the upcoming National Championship. Participation in the tournament has also been made ‘mandatory’, which will give out rupees one crore as a prize money for the first time in it’s history.
BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “It will be mandatory for all the top ranked players to participate in the event. Those players who are in the world top-50, would get a direct entry into quarter-finals. However it will be limited to a maximum of eight slots out of a total of 16,” quoted the Times of India.
Follwing such a move, top Indian women shuttlers like PV Sindhu (world number 2) and Saina Nehwal (number 12) would come into action only from the quarter-finals.
The same applies for top ranked men shuttlers such as Kidambi Srikanth (number 8), HS Prannoy (number 15), B Sai Praneeth (number 17), Sameer Verma (number 19) and Ajay Jayaram (number 20).
The president also announced scholarships for upcoming and talented players who are forced to leave the game due to financial restrictions.
“Most of the times, good talented players drop out of the game due to financial constraints. Hence to support such players, we will be providing a scholarship of Rs 25,000- 50,000 per month for about 20 juniors to begin with, and take the number upto 100,” Sharma said.
Moreover, he sent out a strict warning to those who fraud their age to earn participation in various tournaments, stating it will be dealt in a tough manner.
He said, “We want to erase this over-age issue by conducting the tests well before the season so that no one should undergo the mental trauma during a tournament or a camp. If a player is found overage, we will put him/her in the next category as we think the parents are the culprits rather than the players themselves.”