The India Open Super 500 and the Syed Modi International Super 300 tournaments were on Thursday cancelled by the Badminton World Federation in its adjusted calendar to salvage a season thrown haywire by the Covid-19 pandemic. The India Open, which was originally scheduled in March, was to be held from December 8 to 13 in New Delhi and Syed Modi was slated for November 17 to 22 in Lucknow in the previously revised calendar.
"The Badminton World Federation (BWF) will implement an adjusted tournament calendar for the HSBC BWF World Tour in 2020," the world body said in a statement. "The TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020 in Aarhus, Denmark will remain part of the international tournament calendar and will proceed on the planned dates of 3-11 October 2020.
"All remaining HSBC BWF World Tour tournaments on the calendar will no longer take place at the dates and locations originally listed." The badminton season has been on hold after the All England Championship in March. "…after weighing the concerns of Covid pandemic it's been decided that both #SyedModiInternational & #IndiaOpen stand cancelled for this year. The safety of players & other stakeholders connected to the game is paramount.We hope to return in 2021," the Badminton Association of India tweeted.
According to BWF's adjusted calender the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals will be followed by the HSBC BWF World Tour, which will resume with a two-week European leg in Odense, Denmark.
"Both of these tournaments – DANISA Denmark Open I and Denmark Open II – will be Super 750 events." The BWF calender will take a two week break to allow the players time to follow the necessary quarantine rules as they move to the next tour — Asia — where back-to-back Super 1000 events will be held.
"There will then be a two-week transition time to move the tour and all participants to Asia safely – factoring in the necessary quarantine period – for two Super 1000 tournaments in Weeks 46 and 47, and culminating with the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Week 48.
"The locations of the three Asian leg tournaments are yet to be announced," BWF said. In May, the BWF had unveiled a revised international calendar but it couldn't be started due to the global health crisis which is showing no signs of abating.
"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was not possible to implement the revised international tournament calendar for the HSBC BWF World Tour as originally envisaged," BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said. "Managing travel logistics between different territories where different entry and safety restrictions apply has been the biggest challenge. Therefore, an adjusted tournament calendar was developed."
BWF also shared its Standard Operation Procedure with member associations, saying any breach "can result in accreditations being revoked and participants not permitted to enter the venue." The BWF had also announced that ranking points earned at tournaments during the original qualification phase will be maintained.
It had earlier frozen the world rankings and made the standings on March 17 as the basis for entry and seedings, when the international calendar resumes. "Tournaments completed in 2020 will accumulate world ranking points, although such points will only be included with the unfreezing of the World Rankings," the apex body said.
"The exact model for the unfreezing of the World Rankings, and how subsequent rankings are structured and valued, will be released shortly."