Fri. Aug 19th, 2022

Saina Nehwal has taken aim at the Badminton Association of India (BAI), criticizing the sport’s national governing body for their scheduling, while also explaining her decision to opt out of selection trials for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games later this year.

In a series of tweets, Saina explained her rationale, saying “Surprised to see all the articles stating that I don’t want to defend my CWG title and my Asiad medal. I’m just not participating in the trials because I just got back from 3 weeks of Europe events and according to the schedule there’s Asian Championships in 2 weeks’ time.”

“As a senior player to participate in back to back events nonstop is impossible and it’s risking injuries, such short notice is not possible. I’ve conveyed this to BAI but there has been no response from them .It seems like they’re happy to put me out of CWG and Asiad.”

“I wish we had better understanding about how to manage a schedule and not announce events with 10 days’ notice. I’m world no.23 currently and I almost beat the world no.1 Akane in All England. One loss at India open and BAI tries to pull me down. Shocking.”

Saina’s schedule has been a packed one of late, participating in the German Open (8-13 March), All England Championships (16-20 March), Swiss Open (22-27 March), while opting out of the Korean Open (5-10 April)

The BAI had announced selection trials from 15-20 April for the Commonwealth and Asian Games, with Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu qualifying directly on account of being ranked within the top 15 in the world. BAI withdrew all Indian entries for the Korean Masters (12-17 April) so as not to clash with these trials.

The Badminton Asia Championships Saina was referring to earlier, take place from the 26th of April to the 1st of May.

Speaking to ESPN earlier, Saina’s husband, Parupalli Kashyap, was critical of BAI’s handling of the issue, saying “”She didn’t even receive the circular about the trials. I had to show it to her. There’s been absolutely no effort from the federation to even reach out to Saina. It’s unfortunate that someone who’s won so many medals for the country is being treated so shabbily today.”

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