‘Rebel shuttlers are completely out of form’

By Abhishek Roy


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New Delhi : The top rebel shuttlers who skipped the ongoing national camp are completely out of form and won't be selected for the Sudirman Cup team, said Badminton Association of India (BAI) president V.K. Verma Tuesday.

"There is no question of selecting the players who skipped the national camp and the selection trial, no matter even if they are the top players of the country," Verma told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

"It is clearly stated in the rules that to get selected for the national team for any international tournament, the players have to take part in the selection trial," he added.

Three top players of the country – Chetan Anand, Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien – have given the ongoing national camp and selection trial a miss to protest what they say "autocratic behaviour" of the BAI.

The trio were later joined by Anup Sridhar and Arvind Bhatt.

The camp and the selection trial are currently held at Gopi Chand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. The Sudriman Cup will be held in Glasgow from June 11-17.

The players say that BAI is acting in an autocratic way by preventing them from participating in other international tournaments when a national camp is going on, and that is affecting their rankings and chances to qualify for the Olympics.

"We have decided to skip the trial as a protest. We want to know why our names were not sent for the Indonesian Open and Singapore Open when we wanted to go at our own expenses," Anand had told IANS earlier.

The BAI president rubbished the players' claims and said: "All these claims by the players are rubbish. The rules are sacrosanct and it can't be different for different players. It is simple we won't select them for the Sudirman Cup."

Verma also said that last year they permitted to allow the players to go abroad and participate on their own in different tournaments but it had turned out to be a disaster.

"We did permit them last year to go on their own and participate in different tournaments. It turned out to be a disaster and brought shame for the country. We can't afford to do this anymore. None of the so-called top players could even cross the first round of any tournament," he said.

The BAI president, however, added that the national body won't take any action about the rebel players.

"It is up to them to decide what they want. We can't bend the rules," he said.