Lack of initiative on part of the Delhi Badminton Association (DBA) has resulted in the cancellation of the Pramod Mahajan All-India senior ranking badminton tournament (PMC), which was scheduled to get under way from January 22 in the Capital. The organisers had surrendered the championship to the DBA citing paucity of courts in the Capital.
Even while the DBA knew that most of the stadiums were under renovation for the Commonwealth Games, the officials didn’t suggest alternate venues to the PMC in advance.
Only a couple of months back, the 2009 World Badminton Championships had to be shifted from the Siri Fort Complex to Hyderabad because of delays in renovation work.
PMC secretary general, Vikram Bhasin, said “I had written a letter to the Siri Fort officials in June seeking permission to hold the tournament there, but the request was declined on Thursday.”
Had the DBA wanted, they could have requested neighbouring state associations to arrange the facilities. Gurgaon and Noida are equally capable of holding big tournaments. The Shastri and Nehru hockey tournaments have been moved to Gurgaon due to the non-availability of venues in Delhi.
Shastri Hockey Tournament
Society organising secretary, K.D. Parashar, said: “We didn’t want to cancel the tournament. The Nehru Stadium in Gurgaon is as good as the Shivaji Stadium in Delhi. Though we faced problems like high cost of hotel rooms, commuting etc, it hardly matters. Even Nehru Hockey was held there.”
DBA secretary SP Singh when asked why he did not intimate the organisers about venue problems, he said, “We did suggest other venues but the PMC officials declined the offer.”
Said Bhasin, “The suggestion was made very late. Had the DBA told us about it four-five months back, we would have prepared ourselves. “One needs to convince sponsors, look for hotels, arrange air tickets etc… there’s so much money involved. All this doesn’t happen overnight. As it is, we were apprehensive about alternative venues and the delays made it all the more difficult.” When asked if players’ participation was a problem, Bhasin said, “Everyone had confirmed their participation. Even Saina Nehwal’s participation was confirmed.”