There seem to be problems galore in the times coronavirus pandemic for sportspersons, and perhaps twice as much for the badminton players in the country. And even though positive cases in the country are on the rise, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has already given a nod to open sports complexes, as long as they adhere to the guidelines. However, badminton players might have to wait a little longer to resume their training since the national camp is in Hyderabad -- a red zone for Covid-19.
There has been no word yet from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) or the Telangana government as to when can the players start training again at the Gopichand Academy, and to make matters worse, the international body, Badminton World Federation (BWF) released their revised schedule a couple of days back with 22 tournaments cramped in to five months.
"Ever since the All England tournament there has been a lot of confusion among the players about the guidelines," doubles player Sikki Reddy told News18.com.
"The thing with the lockdown here is we don't know when the training will resume. As international players, we long for breaks, but it has been two months now and we want to be back on the court. The call to open the academy will only come once a decision has been taken by the state government at the end of the month."
The apex body’s revised calendar has not only surprised the players, but angered them. The first tournament would be the Hyderabad Open from August 11-16, while the World Tour Final would be played from December 16-20.
Such a schedule makes it difficult for the players to maintain optimum fitness levels, and also makes them prone to injuries, especially when they would be looking to qualify for the Olympics next year.
"I'm not okay with the schedule at all. There are some tournaments that are clashing too. Ideally BWF should have had interacted with a player representative from each country and then taken a call. I am not sure if that has happened. Right now there is no clarity as to how would these tournaments happen and how the players would be able to take part in these," Sikki added.
If the tournaments do manage to start from August, they will have had a gap of close to six months of participating in a big event. Coming back and performing would not be easy by any means.
"No doubt it will be difficult resuming the training, and even more to go back to the tournaments. But looks like we'll have no other option. We'll have to keep the spirits up. Since we have to qualify for the Olympics, we'll have to pick and choose the tournaments. But don't think that would be the best way forward."