New Delhi: The preparatory camp for the Thomas and Uber Cup, which was set to begin on September 7 in Hyderabad, has been cancelled, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) said on Thursday.
BAI said in a statement that there wouldn’t be enough time for a camp, considering the mandatory seven-day quarantine that the shuttlers will have to undergo and the final date of team selections for the tournaments, which is September 17.
Additionally, the teams for the tournaments have also been selected by a six-member selection committee. “After a lot of deliberations and multi-level meetings with all stakeholders, including Sports Authority of India, we have decided to cancel the camp,” said BAI Secretary General Ajay Kumar Singhania. The camp was to be held at the Gopichand Academy.
“With the SOP implemented and quarantine procedures followed, there will not be enough time to conduct a camp and hence it was a decision taken in consultation with the five selectors and the national coach (Pullela Gopichand). We have also selected a team that will be representing India at the Thomas and Uber Cup as well as the other two tournaments to be played in Denmark.”
World Championship bronze medallist Sai Praneeth has pulled out of the tournament due to fitness concerns while India’s No.1 men’s doubles pair Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will also not be available due to the latter testing positive for COVID-19.
The Thomas Cup squad will now be led by former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth with Parupalli Kashyap and Lakshya Sen being the other top stars. The doubles charge will be spearheaded by former national champions Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy.
India’s Uber Cup squad will be bolstered by the presence of both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu after the latter consented to her availability at the insistence of BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma. Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy, meanwhile, will be helming the doubles department with youngsters Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod also getting a look into the squad.
The selected players have been asked to submit fitness certificate by September 17 and players have been advised to train on their own and keep BAI updated on their regular fitness and training status. Team departure date will be intimated to the players later, once everything is finalised.
Thomas Cup squad: Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, Lakshya Sen, Subhankar Dey, Siril Verma, Manu Attri, B. Sumeeth Reddy, MR Arjun, Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garaga
Uber Cup squad: PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod, Ashwini Ponnappa, N Sikki Reddy, Pooja Dandu, Sanjana Santosh, Poorvisha S Ram, Jakkampudi Meghana