The inaugural edition of the India Open Super Series Badminton Tournament that gets underway here on Tuesday is still reeling under the setback it suffered after the arrest of former president VK Verma in February. The organising committee is hoping the confusion and chaos does not affect the conduct of the actual event.
The core team for the event was re-constituted in March under the co-chairmanship of Akhilesh Das Gupta and Hemanta Biswas Sarma and though they managed to save the event from being postponed or cancelled, problems over transport arrangements and other logistics continued on Monday.
A promotional event, with former world champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia and world number four Saina Nehwal, was reduced to a sideshow as both failed to turn up. The organising committee members were unsure about the exact whereabouts of the two stars.
When asked about the confusion, organising secretary TPS Puri said, “Taufik is busy practicing. Saina landed today morning, so they couldn’t make it.”
While Hidayat was not sighted at the training venue during the morning session, Saina trained with the Indian team for two hours before making an appearance at a promotional event for a soft drink company in the afternoon.
The major problem for the organising committee has been the late re-shuffles in core positions. which did not allow time for detailed planning and co-ordination with the local authorities.