In a major setback to the Punjab Badminton Association (PBA), which had asked its players not to participate in a tournament being organised by some NRIs at Mukandpur village, the district administration on Wednesday allowed the players to attend the five-day cash-prize contest starting Thursday.
Jalandhar deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav, who is also the president of the District Badminton Association (DBA), asked the players to attend the tournament without hesitation after parents of budding players met him against the ban from attending the tournament.
“The District Badminton Association has no objection to our players playing in the private tournament,” Yadav told the parents who met him in his office on Wednesday evening.
The DC’s stance is being seen as a setback to the PBA, whose general secretary Rajinder Kalsi, in a circular on April 4, had instructed the players not to attend this event or face action. The players are excited to attend the event as it is one of those rare events where the cash prize of Rs 1 lakh will be given to winners in various categories.
HT was the first to report on the ban on players on April 11 following which a number of players and their parents held a protest outside the deputy commissioner’s residence.
In the meeting with the DC, the players and their parents demanded that the “illogical move” to ban the players from participating in the event being organised by some UK-based NRIs in order to promote the game should be revoked immediately.
“We thank the DC for listening to our grievances. We stood for the cause of the game which is being hit by the internal politics of the DBA. Such tournaments are rare events where players can nourish their skills and also get reward. Some people were not able to bear this and tried to block their participation,” said Raman Soni, father of state champion Parth Soni.
It has been learnt that PBA general secretary Rajinder Kalsi had banned the players since the event was having the support of Gagan Ratti, a former player, who does not have great rapport with Kalsi. However, DBA general secretary Ashwani Victor denied any such communication from the deputy commissioner’s office.
“I am not sure what the deputy commissioner who is also DBA president told the delegation. But I got to know that the delegation was trying to create the confusion. The advisory for players against the tournament was issued by PBA, not DBA,” said Victor.
The organisers of the event also thanked the DC for lifting ban on players from participating in the tournament.
“The ban was really demoralising to us as are spending money from our own pocket. We had planned to cancel the tournament had the administration not intervened and permit players from attending the event,” said NRIs Club chairman Jagtar Singh Shokar.