N Jagannath Das/ENS
Hyderabad, Feb 8: The cancellation of the Thomas and Uber Cup camps has raised doubts about the sincerity of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) towards the holding of the camp.
Even as BAI wriggled out of the controversy, when players led by national champion Chetan Anand, Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien boycotted the Sudirman Cup camp at Hyderabad last year, the latest incident is of BAI’s own making.
“It is poor planning. It’s unfortunate that BAI cancelled the camp. Perhaps, for the first time in the history of BAI, the camp had to be called off. It is not a good sign. In fact, if the BAI had been sincere, they could have made alternate arrangements,” said former national chief coach Syed Mohd Arif.
Arif said the BAI was aware of the tournaments and if they still did not make any arrangements then it is a shame. “The Thomas and Uber Cup camps are very important tournaments. Saying that SAI did not release the funds is ridiculous.
The players lost good practice session. Perhaps, we will be the only country that will participate directly without any camp. The BAI made a mockery of themselves,” added Arif. National chief coach Pullela
Gopi Chand said there was no chance of holding the camp. Gopi Chand admitted that there was no follow up for procuring the shuttles. “It’s a set back. The camp would have helped the players,” he said.
Infact, the players were themselves in dark about the camp. Though the player’s names were announced, the BAI never informed the players about the camp. U Vimal Kumar, the former national coach said the whole issue had been blown out of proportion.
“The BAI should have taken more sensible measures. If due to the bird flu the shuttles could not be bought from China, then they could have imported about 150 boxes from other countries like Malaysia. It is wrong to say that SAI didn’t release the funds for the shuttles.
The BAI could have privately bought the shuttles. It is a disappointing and amateurish way of handling the affair,” said Vimal. Ironically, there seems to be some jinx on the BAI camps of late. Last year, the association was embroiled in a controversy, when they held the Sudirman Camp at Hyderabad.
It had made mandatory for all the players to attend the camp. In the process, the BAI did not allow the players to participate in international tournaments, which led to a revolt. The camp issue continues to haunt the BAI.