It was a dramatic day at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday when the women shuttlers refused to play the team final, citing the poor state of the courts there. The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) Inter Unit Championship team title was eventually awarded to ONGC, which had earlier won the match for the third place.
How it all began
It all started when Pullela Gopi Chand, the chief national coach who is playing for Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), fell twice during the final tie against HS Prannoy of ONGC. After IOCL lost the tie 3-1, he told the players what exactly led to his fall.
“He told us that he fell down because the courts were slippery. We had also felt throughout the day that the wooden courts were uneven,” said Trupti Murgunde, who represents IOCL.
“We had brought this to the notice of the organisers, and after the fall, we were reluctant to play and risk injuries.”
The tournament’s chief referee, Anil Singh, said that since the IOCL shuttlers were not ready to play the final, he had no option but to award the trophy to ONGC.
“ONGC had defeated Engineers India Limited in the tie for third place. Points are awarded to the winners, and I had no option but to declare them winners. I had to give points to somebody.”
The individual events started on Sunday and the men’s and women’s singles matches were shifted to the two courts at the Jaipur Club. The SMS Stadium continues to host the veterans matches.