Updated: September 8, 2020 6:14:13 pm
World Champion PV Sindhu will travel to Aarhus, Denmark as part of India’s Uber Cup team, albeit two days later than the rest of the contingent. Confirming his daughter’s plans to join the squad on September 30 or October 1 latest, father PV Ramana, said, “President Sir (BAI chief Himanta Biswa Sarma) and I discussed this morning, and we have agreed she will travel two days after the rest of the team. This is for the sake of the country and we have no objection if they ask her to play singles, doubles, whatever.”
Earlier over the weekend, the BAI president Sarma had requested Sindhu to reconsider her pulling out from the team, where she had cited personal reasons of a puja function at home. “He said we have a good team and this is a good chance for a medal. Her practice sessions are from 6 am to 8 but she needs to do her fitness separately (at Suchitra Academy). If her fitness comes down, it’ll be bad for the country in all aspects. So we will definitely request that she needn’t be asked to stay at the academy and given the option, and I’m sure the president will consider it. We will ofcourse take all precautions and not disturb others. She’ll practice before anyone else comes and meets her and then we’ll go home,” Ramana said.
India sniffs a medal this time with a spurt of withdrawals. “Thailand withdrew today, and China is also likely to. But this is a team event. So if other players play well, we have a chance though there’ll always be pressure,” Ramana added.
On Tuesday though, China’s participation was confirmed through the official Twitter handle of Badminton Denmark. Apart from India and China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, France, Netherlands, Germany, England, Algeria, Canada, Scotland, Egypt, Spain, and South Korea have all indicated their arrival for the Thomas & Uber Cup next month.
Sindhu’s presence will also serve as encouragement to youngsters like Akarashi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod and Ashmita Chaliha, the father said. “It’ll be a great encouragement to youngsters and the exposure they’ll gain from this. President said as a role model and a reputed player, Sindhu can encourage players. Everybody likes Sindhu and she has always played for the country – singles, doubles both. We should also respect a request when it comes from the BAI head,” he said. “We’ll do the puja over 27th, 28th because her presence is specifically needed. Then after a day’s rest, she can travel. She’ll be tested once before leaving and on her arrival,” he added.
SAI has a task on its hands as it goes about enforcing the 10-day mandatory quarantine before starting the camp for 27 probables at the Gopichand academy. The matter is compounded by BAI having to name the final team on September 17.
While the camp did not kickstart on Monday, there are hectic parleys ongoing between SAI and the badminton federation on how to go about enforcing SOP, while strictly adhering to every step to keep players safe.
SATWIK-CHIRAG STILL IN THE MIX
India’s top men’s doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty might well end up travelling to Denmark, hinging on a pair of tests on Satwik. The Amalapuram doubles ace is expected to undergo the first of these tests in four days and BAI will consider adding the combine to the squad if he tests negative and feels upto travelling and training thereafter.
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