Three tournaments a must for shuttlers

Desperate to have the presence of leading players on the national circuit, Badminton Association of India will be making it mandatory after the London Olympics for all the shuttlers to play in a minimum of three tournaments, including Senior National championships.

With world class shuttlers like Saina Nehwal and Jwala Gutta among others skipping the National meet for several years now, BAI had decided in its meeting during the Syed Modi Memorial Indian Open Grand Prix in Lucknow last month to end the long-standing debate about the top players’ unavailability in national meets.

The major decision taken during the meeting was to make mandatory for all the top Indian players to play in two national ranking tournaments and also in the Senior National championships. “BAI had decided in its last meeting to give more foreign exposure to the Indian players,” said BAI’s vice-president Muralidharan, who was here at the KBA courts on Saturday to inaugurate the national championships.

“BAI also made it mandatory for all the top shuttlers to take part in atleast two national ranking tournaments and in the National meet. This will come to effect only after the London Olympics,” he added.

Muralidharan also said the sport’s national body has decided to increase the allowances for the players during the foreign trips. “The allowance for the foreign tours have been increased from US $30 to US $60 (Asian countries) and US $40 to US $90 (Europe). BAI is looking after all their expenses during their travel abroad, so why can’t they oblige to our request. The committee also approved a proposal to increase the prize money for the Nationals from next year.”

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