Strange are the ways of the Badminton Association of India (BAI). They do not feel the need to field their best combination in the Asian Satellite Championhips that gets underway at Mumbai from November 14.
The latest episode concerns the omission of the leading doubles combination of Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien for the prestigious event.
The entries of the Hyderabadi duo — the highest ranked pair at 61 in the International Badminton Federation ranking — has not been sent to the IBF by the association.
In the event, the pair now has to go through the rigours of the qualifiers. “They are left with no option but to go play the qualifying rounds,” said Kanti Gutta, father of Jwala.
“It is really strange that the country's leading doubles pair has not been given a direct entry into the event. The BAI has a lot of explaining to do,” said the veteran player.
“True they (Jwala and Shruti) have not been doing well in the recent past but they are by far our best,” said Kanti.
BAI secretary LC Gupta refuted the charges. “How can you accuse us of being biased. Before pointing fingers at anyone, they should look at their performance. It is easy for people to accuse us of bias.”