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Smashed by BAI, players up in arms

India’s top shuttlers say they are 'deeply offended' by the critical and sarcastic comments made by BAI secretary LC Gupta against them, reports Saji Chacko.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2007 19:34 IST
Saji Chacko
Saji Chacko
Hindustan Times

Controversies don't seem to teach any lessons at the Badminton Association of India (BAI). The dust has barely settled over the row between the players and the BAI on the issue of attending national camps and another controversy is already brewing.

India’s top shuttlers say they are “deeply offended” by the critical and sarcastic comments made by LC Gupta, the BAI secretary, against them.

Gupta had reportedly made disparaging comments about the chances of his own players at the Beijing Olympics. He was quoted as saying by a newspaper that the Indians “stand no chance in Beijing”.

Still more curious were his comments about Chetan Anand, who, according to Gupta, would be 'old' when the 2010 Commonwealth Games start.

Anand, obviously, is not pleased at this. “I cannot imagine the BAI secretary rubbishing the chances of his own players,” he told HT from Hyderabad. “Tell me, in which sport does your own secretary go around telling people that his players stand no chance at any tournament!” he said.

A former international player who preferred to remain anonymous said that there is a precedent to this, and that it was Gupta himself who had erred in the past. “This is not the first time that he has made such stupid comments,” the former player said.

Gupta, though, insisted that he had been misquoted. “I never made that comment about Chetan,” Gupta said. “For that matter, I do not even know how old he is.”

“All that is purely the figment of imagination of the reporter concerned,” Gupta said.

More will be heard on this.

First Published: Jun 06, 2007 22:54 IST