Action returns to courts with the Hyderabad Open in August, as Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced a revamped calendar. The sport has been suspended since March due to coronavirus.
The Hyderabad Open (August 11 to 16) will become the first world event to return to the court and is one of three Indian tournaments on the roster alongside Syed Mushtaq Ali (Nov 17-22) and India Open (Dec 8-13).
As soon as the dates were announced, Indian badminton star Parupalli Kashyap took to social media to ask his fellow shuttlers what they thought.
22 events in 5 months . Ok ♂️ . Firstly , practice hasn’t begun yet . @hkvittinghus @ViktorAxelsen @NSaina @PRANNOYHSPRI @janojorgensen @CarolinaMarin @srikidambi @saiprneeth92. Your thoughts guys ?? pic.twitter.com/nvsAzt6vzh
— Parupalli Kashyap (@parupallik) May 22, 2020
"5 months non stop travel?" Kashyap asked, to which Saina Nehwal replied, "5 months non stop travel... biggest question is what are the international guidelines of travelling during this coronavirus pandemic?"
Nehwal went onto add, "Tennis didn’t even come out with any plan till October Grinning face with smiling eyes" as Kashyap replied, "Ya they had the French open right ?" and Saina said "Yes only one tennis tournament they were discussing about."
Kashyap also drew everyone's attention to the fact that, "Syed Modi and Indonesia Open" are "on same dates".
Saina, replying to that also pointed out that PBL maybe scheduled around the same time, "after 20 decemeber we might have the PBL as well," she wrote.
HS Prannoy wondered how he would manage to be in two places at once and figured that he might have to play in India only.
"Oops I thought we have a choice when it comes to 25 tournaments in 5 month calendar. So you are telling basically I leave Super 1000 for Super 300? nice one," he wrote.
B Sai Praneeth explained that they will have to play the Syed Modi International and may have to miss the Indonesia Open.
Prannoy also wrote, "Ah could have kept a few more and made it 25 instead. Good job," to which Praneeth replied: "How did they miss German and Swiss Open."
When Kashypa asked Pranaav Jerry Chopra when he will be "back from Ludhiana?", he replied: "I just had a doubt if you can clear that up for me that with this much of travelling will we still be considered as Indians or would we be considered as NRIs. We should be given world citizenship for travelling to these many places in 5 months."
These dates may not even be final as BWF has warned that they are tentative and can be changed, given the scenario the world finds itself in currently.
"At this point in time, it is difficult to predict when international movement and entry restrictions will be lifted by individual countries and territories, but we will not resume competition unless it is absolutely clear that is safe to do so," BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said in a statement.
The BWF seemingly trying to avoid another controversy similar to that of All England Championships, as earlier this year, top international players hit out at the officials for continuing with tournaments despite the virus crisis. This time, they made it crystal clear that players will return to the court only if the conditions can be made safe for everyone.
"The health, safety and well being of all athletes, their entourage, officials and the greater badminton community remains our No.1 priority," Lund said in the statement.
"We have also tried to ensure the continued livelihoods of our badminton players, including supporting all our Member Associations, by making considered preparations for badminton's return at the soonest possible chance at all levels across the world."