Pullela Gopichand: Let's have a league for our players in a bio bubble

Updated: 17 September, 2020 08:22 IST | PTI | New Delhi

The Badminton World Federation was forced to postpone the Thomas and Uber Cup after multiple teams pulled out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pullela Gopichand
Pullela Gopichand

With the international badminton calendar still not cast in stone amid postponements and rescheduling, India coach Pullela Gopichand on Wednesday said there is a slight "lag from the players' side" to start training. The Badminton World Federation was forced to postpone the Thomas and Uber Cup after multiple teams pulled out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament was supposed to mark the resumption of international badminton after it came to a halt in March because of the dreaded virus.

The world body also cancelled the Denmark Masters 2020 scheduled from October 20 to 25. "I believe our players are not trusting the fact that our badminton calendar is going to start very soon," Gopichand said during a webinar organised by the Athletics Federation of India. "So there is a bit of a lag from the players' side to get together and train," he added.

Resumption of sport

Sporting activites across the world have started again, big events like the US Open tennis, Formula 1 races, international football and cricket have successfully been conducted in the safety of bio-secure bubbles. And Gopichand called for a league for the country's top shuttlers to be held in a bio bubble. "Sport across the world has started. We need to start as well because we don't want to be left behind. We need to adapt to the situation. In a country like ours, to have the same kind of tournaments we used to have, may not be possible. But a league among top players is possible. If you can quickly divide the players in our country as per their levels and start competing, it's a faster way of creating those bubbles."

Players react differently

Gopichand said the pandemic has affected the players in different ways and some of them have made good use of their time. "For some players it's been good because they are making good use of the pandemic, I won't say for all as some of the players resuming training are not in the best shape which they could be."

Recently, Indian shuttlers had refused to comply with Sports Authority of India's quarantine norms, leading to the cancellation of a training camp for the Thomas and Uber Cup.

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First Published: 17 September, 2020 08:10 IST

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