BAI to revise draws after high court ruling

New Delhi, Dec 19: The Badminton Association of India (BAI) Thursday had to revise its draws for the doubles competitions of the National Championships here after the Bombay High Court Wednesday directed them to allow Prajakta Sawant to participate in the mixed doubles event.

Prajakta’s entry, sent along with Sanave Thomas, was never accepted in the draw list as the latter’s name was withdrawn by his state federation, the Kerala Badminton (Shuttle) Association (KBSA), on the player’s request.

“Yes, we are including Prajakta in the draw now as the court has directed us and we respect the court’s judgment. This has led to reshuffling of the draws. Basically, when Sanave got to know that his entry was sent he asked his state association to withdraw it,” BAI vice-president T.P.S. Puri told IANS at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here Thursday.

“No, I did not send my entry for the mixed doubles competition. I only sent it for men’s doubles which is why I asked to withdraw my name (from mixed doubles competition). I will reach New Delhi tonight at 11 p.m.,” Sanave Thomas told IANS.

Prakjata and Sanave had recently won the mixed doubles title at the Bahrain International Challenge in November.

Sources told IANS that KBSA secretary and BAI vice-president S. Muralidharan had not given clearance to Thomas to take part in the mixed doubles event partnering Prajakta at the National Championships despite their good showing in Bagrain.

Prajakta will now partner Kamaldeep Singh in the individual championships which commence Friday.

Sources also said that names of Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre, who were earlier not part of the draw, were also being entered during the revision despite Nov 27 being the deadline for accepting entries.

However, Puri clarified that this was BAI’s fault as they had “missed” seeing their entries.

“We are accepting the entry as they had forwarded it to us within the deadline. Due to some error of ours, we missed the entry,” said Puri.

IANS