National Badminton: Cold leaves players flouting a rule

New Delhi, Dec 22: Players from most parts of the country — particularly those coming from down south — find the biting cold of the north too bone-chilling to play in and resort to wearing pullovers on top of their jerseys — flouting a tournament rule.

As luck would have it, Delhi experienced the season’s coldest days over the weekend and in the ongoing National Badminton Championships here some of the players were seen in jumpers on the court at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, which incidentally is air-conditioned.

In such conditions, even the referees/umpires wink at players flouting the mandatory rule of displaying theirs and their state’s names on the back of their shirts.

Top shuttler Pusarla Venkata Sindhu was one of those wearing a pullover. For the uninitiated it might have been difficult to recognise who was playing who as the matches were telecast live on TV.

When pointed out, chief referee Mohammed Ali feigned ignorance and promised to take it up with the players and the match officials.

“I will immediately take it up with the players and the officials,” Ali told IANS.

“The rule is that in team championships the players are required to display their name and the name of the state or organisation on their shirts while in individual events, only their names,” Ali, who hails from Tamil Nadu, said.

Some of the old-timers who are here said that it’s nothing new and you find such things happening at every national, particularly when it is played in the northern winter.

IANS