Explaining her decision, Sawant told MiD DAY: “I have been through hell during the court case that I had with P Gopichand. When the court case was on nobody was ready to play with me.
Only Jwala Gutta (her women’s doubles partner) came forward to support me. With the matter solved, even V Diju wants to play with me now. But I have lost faith in BAI. All Indian players (male and female) are influenced by Gopichand. So I decided not to play with them.”
Though the matter seems to have been resolved, she said that the bias in national selection still continues and predicts a rough road ahead for her.
“The court gave orders that if I’m selected I wouldn’t be treated differently.
But players from Gopichand’s academy— Sourabh Varma, Pradnya Gadre, Tarun Kona and others — are still given preference when the team is chosen. But I will fight till the end and not give up hope,” she said.
Meanwhile, the 20-year-old added that she might actually think of getting a Malaysian citizenship after four years. However, for now she just hopes to gel well with Jwala and Latif.
“I cannot think of taking up a Malaysian citizenship till Jwala is playing with me. But after she retires from the sport I will think about it. For now I want to get used to my new partners and go ahead,” she signed off.