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Indians criticise English pullout, Saina calls it 'immature'

Indian shuttlers today flayed England for its last-minute pullout from the World Badminton Championships with Saina Nehwal calling it an 'immature' decision.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2009 21:38 IST

Indian shuttlers on Sunday flayed England for its last-minute pullout from the World Badminton Championships with Saina Nehwal calling it an 'immature' decision.

"It's an immature decision but I don't think it makes much of a difference to the tournament because there are no English top players in the singles event," Saina said.

Badminton England on Sunday withdrew the eight-member contingent following a home ministry advisory on threat perception to the event ahead of the Independence Day celebration.

Saina said her coach Pullela Gopichand tried to convince them about the foolproof security here but to no avail.

"I think they should have been more patient. Even Gopi sir spoke to them yesterday. In India, badminton is not as big as cricket so I don't think there was any need to be worry," said Saina, seeded sixth in the women's singles event.

"The tournament will go on without an issue and I don't foresee any trouble for anyone. I think they panicked since
Independence Day celebrations are round the corner," she added.

India's top men's singles player Chetan Anand said the pullout will hurt India's image as a safe sporting destination.

"It leaves a bad impression not only on badminton but also on other sports as a whole. The European countries do not perceive India as safe and secure which is not good for the sport," Chetan said.

"But there are many teams who have turned up and I hope it will not affect the game much. Of course, now that they have pulled out there will be some open places but its okay," he added.

Mixed doubles specialist Jwala Gutta was shocked as well and she said the English were quite good in doubles events and their absence would be felt.

"It's shocking for me. I don't think such nonsense threats should affect the game. It's sad because it shows they didn't have faith in the organisers. There are some English mixed doubles and a doubles pairs who are really good and it is going to affect the championship," she said.

International players too were taken aback by England's withdrawal.

Danish number one Peter Gade said he had full faith in the organisers, but at the same time he could understand what the British shuttlers went through.

"Obviously when something of this sort happens, family members back home are worried and concerned about our safety.

"But I am sure with the sort of arrangement that the BWF have put in place, there should not be any problem. I have faith on the association," he said.