Telangana shuttlers to resume training on 1 July if government allows BAI to organise camp in Hyderabad

With COVID-19 cases surging in Hyderabad, the Telangana government as a precautionary measure extended the lockdown till 30 June but it meant the return to sport got further delayed for the top players in the state.

Press Trust of India June 26, 2020 16:27:48 IST
Telangana shuttlers to resume training on 1 July if government allows BAI to organise camp in Hyderabad

Top Indian shuttlers, including PV Sindhu, will be able to hit the courts from 1 July if the state government gives a green light to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for organising a national camp in Hyderabad. While a bunch of Indian players have started practising at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) in Bengaluru after the Sports Authority of India (SAI) laid down rules for the resumption of training late last month, the elite players in Hyderabad had no such luck.

With COVID-19 cases surging in Hyderabad, the Telangana government as a precautionary measure extended the lockdown till 30 June but it meant the return to sport got further delayed for the top players in the state.

"The pandemic has put a brake on our training but after weighing the situation, we have decided to start the training camps in Hyderabad from 1 July, subject to state governments permission and approval," BAI secretary Ajay Singhania told PTI.

In March, the BAI postponed the Senior National Championships, scheduled in Lucknow between 27 April to 3 May in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and it has now decided not to resume the domestic circuit till September.

"BAI had a discussion with all state secretaries on the status of resuming the domestic tournaments and after consultations, it was decided that domestic tournaments will not resume till September," Singhania said.

"The pandemic situation will be further accessed and reviewed in September."

In February, BAI had announced the introduction of a multi-level domestic tournament structure, which will have combined prize money of approximately Rs 2 crore, to replace the senior ranking tournaments in the country.

The revamped structure was supposed to have three levels of tournaments — Level 1, 2 and 3 respectively but it didn't see the light of the day due to the pandemic.

Out of four international tournaments that the country was scheduled to host this year, two have been cancelled so far.

The Hyderabad Open Super 100 (August 11-16) and India Junior International Grand Prix (4-9 August) in Pune have been cancelled, while the India Open Super 500, scheduled in March, will be held from 8-13 December in a revamped BWF calendar.

The international circuit was shut down after the completion of the All England Championships in March. Last month, the BWF announced a new 2020 tournament calendar with the World Tour set to return with the Taipei Open from 1 September.

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