BAI allows Prajakta to participate in mixed doubles

 The Badminton Association of India on Thursday had to revise its draws for the doubles competitions of the National Championships here after the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed them to allow Prajakta Sawant to participate in the mixed doubles event.

Prajakta’s entry, sent along with Sanave Thomas, was never accepted in the draw list as the latter’s name was withdrawn by his state federation, the Kerala Badminton (Shuttle) Association (KBSA), on the player’s request.

“Yes, we are including Prajakta in the draw now as the court has directed us and we respect the court’s judgment. This has led to reshuffling of the draws. Basically, when Sanave got to know that his entry was sent he asked his state association to withdraw it,” BAI vice-president TPS Puri said at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here.

“No, I did not send my entry for the mixed doubles competition. I only sent it for men’s doubles which is why I asked to withdraw my name (from mixed doubles competition). I will reach New Delhi tonight at 11 pm,” Sanave Thomas said.

Prakjata and Sanave had recently won the mixed doubles title at the Bahrain International Challenge in November.

Sources said that KBSA secretary and BAI vice-president S Muralidharan had not given clearance to Thomas to take part in the mixed doubles event, partnering Prajakta at the National Championships despite their good showing in Bagrain.

Prajakta will now partner Kamaldeep Singh in the individual championships which commence on Friday.

Sources also said that names of Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre, who were earlier not part of the draw, were also being entered during the revision despite Nov 27 being the deadline for accepting entries.

Meanwhile, BAI is aconsidering asking the franchise owners of the Indian Badminton League to make all payments upfront to it at the start of the second edition.

BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta said that once the payment has been made to the national body, the players in turn can be paid on time. “To ensure that this does not happen again, we want to have foolproof system. The entire money will be deposited with the BAI before the tournament starts and it will be duly distributed to the players on time,” he said.

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