Delhi Smashers Jwala Gutta,who was served a showcause notice by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for her conduct during a tie against the Banga Beats last month,has found support from the rival teams coach U Vimal Kumar.
Jwala was asked to explain her conduct during the incident in Bangalore on August 25 where the start of the match was delayed for half an hour after the Delhi Smashers refused to take the court over the Beats decision to replace Yun Hu with Jan O Jorgensen. She will have to respond to the notice within 14 days.
Claiming that the franchise owners of Delhi Smashers ought to be answerable for the incident and not a solitary player,Vimal Kumar urged the BAI to go lenient on the doubles shuttler.
My personal opinion is that it wasnt Jwalas fault alone. Players will be players and you cant stop them from having a say. Plus,she was their icon player and team leader,and fighting on behalf of her franchise. The Governing Council dilly-dallied and shouldve been firm with the franchise owners on that day. You cant punish one player alone for this, the Banga Beats coach said.
The drama in the lead-up to the ill-tempered tie in Bangalore had in fact started before the Delhi team arrived. The Beats singles player Yun Hu from Hong Kong was carrying a two-month old injury into the tournament and had suffered a wretched time in his previous two games,performing poorly. He had,in fact,concealed an injury from our Banga Beats management and had even refused an anti-inflammatory tablet to deal with his injury. We had to force him to undergo an MRI scan. He was here only for the money. We were in a real bother and our owner went out of the way to track down Jan O,who was flown in. He was within the price limit,but there was confusion and Delhi reacted to the replacement, Vimal Kumar explained. Eventually,Delhi Smashers HS Prannoy played Jan O.
Trouble arose when Delhis Sai Praneeth defied the teams stand of not taking the court and insisted on going ahead,and Jwala got into an argument with him. While Delhi were out of contention,Bangalore were still in with a chance at that point. The Beats management was worried that their only tie they were hosting at home would be cancelled so it led to arguments. Delhis owners couldve said that we should play on,but how can you blame just one player? he contended.
Delhi had felt hard done by because in an earlier tie against Awadhe Warriors too,their opponents had replaced a lacklustre Sapsiree by Pia Bernadeth a doubles player ranked higher than the Thai.
There were no fixed norms really,nothing on paper, says another franchise representative,adding that such confusions were inevitable in the first year. Next year,we expect the working committee to be stricter and less random in enforcing rules, he added.
BAIs Vice President TPS Puri,however,said that a rule was in place. Anyone incapacitated would be checked by a medical commission,and a replacement who was lower ranked,and lesser in base price could be included, Puri said.
Another association official said that the disciplinary committee was keen on preventing a recurrence. A player throwing a tantrum cannot be allowed to go scot-free because TV rights are involved here. She might be given a verbal warning, he added.