P.V. Ramana, father of P.V. Sindhu, has criticised the composition of the Indian badminton team for the upcoming Asian Games and urged the Badminton Association of India (BAI) to reconvene a selection meeting.
“The National selectors have committed a blunder. How could they pick two extra singles players and ignore the doubles pair of Aparna Balan and her partner (Sruti K.P.),” Ramana asked.
, Ramana, a member of the bronze-winning volleyball team in the 1986 Asian Games, hinted at a ‘conflict of interest’ specific to the selection of chief coach P. Gopi Chand’s daughter P. Gayatri and Akarshi Kashyap.
“Gayatri and Akarshi have a good future if given years of foreign exposure and training.
“At present, I see no reason to select them in the Asian Games team.
“ So far, players were selected on their world rankings.
“Now why select players on the basis of two selection tournaments?,” Ramana queried.
When contacted for a reaction, Gopi Chand said, “I don’t think I have to comment on this.”
Meanwhile, BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma revealed that Gopi Chand had objected to naming his daughter Gayatri in the Asian Games squad during the selection committee meeting.
“In fact, the other members of the panel overruled his objection and picked her.
“Hence, there is no conflict of interest as far as Gopi is concerned,” Sarma said.
He added: “The selection of each and every player, including Gayatri, was done purely on merit and based on consistent performances in the selection tournaments.”
Sarma clarified that “there is no question of any rethink on the Indian squad’s selection for the Asian Games.”
And referring to women’s doubles combinations for the Asiad, Sarma felt that the issue of a reserve pair would come only if the regular duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy was injured.
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