Indian shuttler HS Prannoy has questioned the criteria for Arjuna Award selection, saying players who have won nothing have been recommended for the national awards by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) instead of those with medals in Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships.
On Tuesday, the BAI recommend doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and men’s singles player Sameer Verma for the Arjuna Award.
“Same old story. Guy who has medals in CWG and Asian Championships not even recommended by the association. And guy who was not there on any of these major events recommended. #waah #thiscountryisajoke,” Prannoy tweeted.
Prannoy, who had won the mixed team gold at the 2018 CWG in Gold Coast and a men’s singles bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Championships in Wuhan, also found support from Parupalli Kashyap. “Never actually understood the system of applying for an award . I hope this changes. Be strong bro,” Kashyap replied on Prannoy’s tweet.
Rankireddy and Chirag have put together a string of consistent performances over the past two years to more or less guarantee themselves a spot in the postponed Tokyo Olympics. They won the Thailand Open last year and later managed a runners-up finish at the French Open and reached the semi-final of the China Open Super 750.
On the other hand, Sameer won three titles and ascended to a career-high No. 11 in the world in 2018. His series of good performances earned him a place among the best-eight at the BWF World Tour Finals 2018, where he progressed to the semi-finals on debut.
The BAI has also recommended Bhaskar Babu, who is credited with coaching the likes of Saina Nehwal and Kashyap in their formative years, and S. Murlidharan, for the Dronacharya award.