New Delhi, Sept 10: In order to bring normalcy amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced India's squad for Thomas and Uber Cup. Due to 7-day mandatory quarantine not ending before September 17, the BAI decided to cancel the preparatory camp.
Initially, the preparatory camp was supposed to kick start on September 7 to 27 while the event is scheduled from October 3 to 11 in Aarhus, Denmark. It was proposed by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to be held at the SAI Pullela Gopichand Academy. However, it was not possible with the SOP implemented and quarantine procedures followed, there will not be enough time to conduct a camp.
"After a lot of deliberations and multi-label meetings with all stakeholders including Sports Authority of India, we have decided to cancel the camp. 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," said BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania.
"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," he added. Earlier, it was reported that World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth has opted out due to fitness concerns from the entire Denmark event.
It was also reported that PV Sindhu will also be missing out on the whole event but now on the request of Himanta Biswa Sarma, the President of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), she has agreed to feature in the Thomas Uber Cup.
For Thomas Cup, in men's singles, the squad will now be led by former world number one Kidambi Srikanth with Parupalli Kashyap and Lakshya Sen being the other shuttlers. Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will go for men's doubles after the country's number one duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had to pull out following Rankireddy testing positive for COVID-19.
In Thomas Cup, India has been placed in Group C with 2016 champions Denmark being their biggest competition, besides Germany and Algeria in the same group.
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.
In Uber Cup, India finds itself in Group D with the other teams being China, Germany, and France. However, the 14-time champions China are still awaiting confirmation of their participation.
"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 will be intimated to the players in due course of time once everything is finalized," BAI said in a release.
Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Ashwini Ponnappa, and N Sikki Reddy will represent India in Denmark Open and Denmark Masters too, starting from October 13.