The Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) policy of giving players foreign exposure is a commendable step. But this scheme will bear fruit only if the selected players get to play and not miss out on action because of their low international ranking.
Such a thing happened on Tuesday when two of the three women players — Aparna Balan and Krishna Deka Raja — selected for the Danish Open that began in Aarhus (Denmark) on Tuesday, decided to stay back home. The reason: They were not sure of getting an entry into the five-star event. Both Balan and Deka were placed in the reserved list for qualifiers.
Though Deka was included in the qualifying draw following some withdrawals on the eve of the tournament, it was too late for the him to reach Denmark. Krishna Deka and Balan were also picked by BAI to play in the women’s doubles event but were only fourth reserves for the qualifiers and thus had to withdraw from that too.
Also left in the lurch was doubles specialist V Diju, who was to participate in the men’s doubles with JBS Vidyadhar and mixed doubles with Balan. In both the event, the pairs were on the reserved list. “Since I had no guarantee of getting into the qualifying draw I decided against going to Denmark,” Diju told HT from Hyderabad.
When HT contacted former international and selection committee member Pradeep Gandhe, he expressed surprise. “We had not thought about such eventualities. But from now on we will have to take these things into consideration.”