The Badminton Association of India's (BAI) plans to schedule a badminton camp before the Thomas and Uber Cup have been laid to waste after several top players failed to comply with the BAI's procedures. The Indian badminton association was eager to begin a badminton camp on September 7 but has now cancelled it considering the standard operating protocol (SOP) and seven days of mandatory quarantine is difficult before September 17. While the preparatory camp has been cancelled, the BAI announced the squads for the Thomas and Uber Cup finalised by the six-member selection committee.
With the Sports Authority of India (SAI) insisting on a mandatory 10-day quarantine period, the BAI was in a fix with September 17 the deadline to submit the Thomas and Uber Cup squads. The Indian badminton camp was set to be held at the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad but has been cancelled as the selectors picked the teams without watching the players in action. The Thomas and Uber Cup teams were based on BWF rankings, with PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal leading the women's contingent, while Kidambi Srikanth is set to spearhead the men's squad. Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy, meanwhile, will be helming the women's doubles. On the other hand, the men's doubles will be led by former national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy after both Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had to pull out, with the former testing COVID-19 positive.
ANNOUNCEMENT 📢— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) September 10, 2020
🇮🇳's preparatory camp for #ThomasandUberCup has been cancelled.
"With the SOP implemented and quarantine procedures followed, there will not be enough time to conduct a camp," said #BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania.
Find out the final 🇮🇳 squad for TUC ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/x3WAQUYzxG
In a statement, BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said that the decision to cancel the Indian badminton camp was taken after a lot of deliberation and multi-level meetings with the stakeholders. Singhania added that with the SOPs and other regulations it was not possible to schedule an Indian badminton camp before the Thomas and Uber Cup, which is why the squads were announced by the five selectors and the national coach. Along with the Thomas and Uber Cup squads, the BAI also announced the teams for the Denmark Open and Masters.
The players selected for the Denmark tournaments have been asked to submit their fitness certificates to the BAI by September 17. The shuttlers have been advised to train individually and keep the Indian badminton association updated on their regular fitness and training status. The Denmark Open kicks off on October 13 with the finals slated for October 18, while the Masters will begin on October 20, with the finals scheduled five days later. In the Thomas Cup, India are placed in Group C alongside Denmark, Germany and Algeria. Meanwhile, in the Uber Cup, India are in Group D with China, Germany and France. China, however, are yet to confirm their participation.