As captain,it was expected of me to represent team’s interest: Jwala Guttahttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/as-captain-it-was-expected-of-me-to-represent-teams-interest-jwala-gutta/

As captain,it was expected of me to represent team’s interest: Jwala Gutta

Gutta stated the breach of IBL protocol by the Banga Beats which triggered her actions.

The disciplinary committee formed to investigate the role played by Jwala Gutta in the IBL fracas had recommended a life ban based,stating that her actions brought disrepute to both the league and the BAI. Gutta,in her reply to the charges,stated the breach of IBL protocol by the Banga Beats which triggered her actions,and demanded a withdrawal of allegations against her. The committee deemed Gutta’s mail as arrogant,and stating her senior role in the Indian badminton scene,recommended choosing between a life ban,a six-year ban or a more lenient view if an apology is forthcoming. The following are excerpts of the correspondence exchanged between the committee and Gutta discussing the issue.

BAI’s Show cause notice

It has been decided by the BAI to initiate disciplinary proceedings against miss Jwala Gutta for her alleged involvement leading to the delayed start of the IBL tie between Delhi Smashers and Banga Beats played at Bangalore on 25th August 2013.

Tournament referee Girish Natu has submitted his report implicating Miss Jwala Gutta for coercing her team members into indiscipline. The referee reports that Gutta resorted to heated and at times offensive arguments with the Governing Council Members.

Sai Praneeth,of Delhi Smashers,was prevented by Gutta from playing in the tie even though he was prepared,thus proving her motives in disrupting the tie and the tournament. Her actions dented the image and prestige of the Tournament,the IBL and the BAI in front of the international,National and Domestic viewers as well as the International Broadcasters.

Gutta’s defense

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I am a dedicated sportsperson and have represented India on various international tournaments while following all ethics,principles and the spirit of the game.

The match was delayed owing to gross violation of IBL rules and regulations by Banga Beats. Approximately 40 minutes prior to the match,it came to our knowledge that Banga Beats had replaced one of their team members Hu Yun with Jan Jogersan.

Any changes with respect to the opponent team’s composition at the last minute causes confusion since preparation and team strategy is based on each member of the other side. The IBL’s procedures for seeking replacements (advance intimation and verification by governing council) were not followed.

Being the captain,it was expected of me to represent my team’s interest. None of the Delhi team were informed of changes and the team owners were equally surprised.

The delay,if any,in the game occurred owing to time taken by the Governing Council and the team owners in addressing the issue. The fact remains that the change made by Banga Beats team was eventually not allowed. The delay,therefore was owing to an attempt made by Banga Beats to violate the IBL rules.

I request for an immediate withdrawal of all the allegations made against me and also for the BAI to provide for a clarification in the press/ media.

Committee’s judgement

As can be seen from the reply submitted by Gutta it is evident that the offending player,instead of replying to the specific allegations,has attempted to skirt the issue. In the same vein she has made attempts to make allegations against the BAI and the IBL Governing Council.

The decisions of the referee in charge should be final and if the team has any cause for complaint,it is the management who should raise the issue. The captain has the right to raise the issue but never on the playing arena. The role of the captain is to motivate her team and ensure the spirit and prestige of the game.

She herself admits to have been in the forefront of the incedent causing irreparable damage to the spirit and prestige of the game.

Her actions were of such serious consequences that a further delay by another half hour would have brought the entire game of badminton in the country,the BAI,and the IBL to disrepute before the world. The IBL would have been a still-born harming not only the game of Badminton but also the interest and stakes of the players. The committee expected her to be apologetic. But unfortunately she has grown more aggressive and strident. She exhibits arrogance at its worst when she demands the BAI to withdraw the allegations.

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The fact that the situation has been saved is not because of Gutta but because of the timely intervention of the organisers and the governing council. She is also sufficiently senior to understand the gravity of the situation. Therefore the misdeeds of Gutta deserve exemplary punishment.