Pullela Gopichand rues cramped international calendar

Dec 07, 2017, 10:50 IST | Sundari Iyer

India's chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand yesterday lashed out at Badminton World Federation's (BWF) new rule in which it is mandatory for the Top 15 singles and Top 10 doubles players to play 12 tournaments in a year or they might hav

India's chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand yesterday lashed out at Badminton World Federation's (BWF) new rule in which it is mandatory for the Top 15 singles and Top 10 doubles players to play 12 tournaments in a year or they might have to pay dearly if they fail to comply with the new rule. The new tournament format will begin from January 2018 and the Super Series and Super Series Premier will now be called World Tour. Another major change that has received mixed reactions in the badminton circles is about no qualifying rounds in Grade 1 and Grade 2 tournaments.

Indias chief badminton  coach Pullela GopichandIndia's chief badminton coach Pullela Gopichand

"I think they [BWF] have cramped the calendar too much. It's unfortunate that BWF has this kind of thinking. I'm against getting the players to play so many tournaments. If you look at it, the players are getting injured and their performances are also not consistent. This is surely not the right way forward. There are many other ways to promote the sport rather than pushing the top players to play more," said Gopichand, who was in city to announce IDBI Federal Life Insurance's new talent hunt Young Champs, where Gopichand will identify 10-15 under-10 players who will get a chance train at his academy in Hyderabad. "Add to this, India will be playing the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. This means our top players will have very little time to prepare and rest," said the former All England champion, who felt Indian players will find it difficult to strike a balance between training and participating in tournaments as they would not be able to skip the tour events as ranking points are crucial for them to qualify for bigger events.

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