National badminton camp likely to be cancelled after quarantine stalemate
It is likely that the proposed national badminton camp—scheduled from September 7 to 27—will not go ahead due to the uncertainty and continuing stalemate between the players and authorities.
There was no action for the third successive day of the camp in Hyderabad that Sports Authority of India (SAI) had planned for the Thomas and Uber Cup, scheduled in Denmark from October 3 to 11 which will restart international competition for the first time since March.
SAI wants players attending the yet-to-begin camp to quarantine for at least a week at the SAI-Gopichand National Badminton Academy before hitting the courts. However, the shuttlers and Badminton Association of India (BAI) are against the idea.
“We are still discussing the matter with SAI. If we go according to their Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which is a seven-day quarantine, then we will not be left with any time (for training and selection),” a top BAI official said on condition of anonymity.
September 17 is when the team is to be selected with the next day as the last date for entries to be sent for the prestigious biennial tournament.
“If they say that quarantine is compulsory then it is unlikely we will hold a camp because if we quarantine the players, by the time it’ll end it will be time for the players to leave (for Denmark). We won’t be left with any time.”
Most local players have also voiced their opinion to SAI about wanting to stay in their homes instead of the academy hostel.
While several outstation players who were ready to leave for Hyderabad have been asked to wait, others who have already reached the camp are unsure about the future course of action. However, since several of them train in Hyderabad itself, they have started training at the Gopichand Badminton Academy which is 5km away from the SAI venue.
“The players are anyway training in their own respective centres. It is too late for both quarantine and the camp,” said another BAI official.
Meanwhile, B Sai Praneeth has joined the growing list of withdrawals from the men’s camp after Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and Sourabh Verma. The World Championship medallist has decided to skip the entire Denmark leg comprising the Thomas Cup, Denmark Open and Denmark Masters—all in October.