The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Tuesday recommended top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and men’s singles player Sameer Verma for the coveted award. Prannoy said he needs a reply from the association why his name was not included in the list despite consistent performances.
“I have no problem with Sameer being recommended for the awards. My only question is that why didn’t BAI recommend me. They could have recommended me as a fourth person with Satwik, Chirag and Sameer but even that too didn’t happen,” a fuming Prannoy told TOI.
He said that the badminton players in India need a voice within the association. “Both the president (Himanta Biswa Sarma) and the secretary (Ajay K Singhania) are busy with their own works and do not have the time to hear what the players need to say,” said Prannoy. “I’ve been in their blacklist for a long time since I constantly vent my voice out,” he added.
Earlier Prannoy took to Twitter to express his displeasure over the award recommendation. “#arjunaawards Same old story. Guy who has Medals in Cwg and Asian Championships not even recommended by Association. And guy who was not there on any of these major events recommended #waah #thiscountryisajoke,” Prannoy tweeted.
#arjunaawards Same old story. Guy who has Medals in Cwg and Asian Championships not even recommended by Associatio… https://t.co/2cI5emSJed
— PRANNOY HS (@PRANNOYHSPRI) 1591113535000
Prannoy has had a great run in the last four years and especially in 2018, when he won a gold medal as part of the Indian mixed team which became champions at the Commonwealth Games for the first time. Apart from winning a bronze at the Wuhan Asian Championships and achieving a career-best ranking of world no 8, Prannoy defeated former world no 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China in successive matches in the Indonesian Open. He also reached the finals of the US Open in 2018. At home, he won his maiden senior national championship title beating then World No 2 Kidambi Srikanth in the final. He was also part of the men’s team which won bronze medals at the Asia Team Championships in 2016 and 2020.
Out of the three recommendations by BAI, Satwik and Chirag have won the silver at 2018 CWG, but Sameer has never played in any of the prestigious tournaments.
Meanwhile, BAI in its statement said that it has ‘diligently assessed the performances of the athletes and coaches during the last four years before sending the names to the Sports Ministry for the recommendation.’
Prannoy also said that he has not given a thought to self-nominate himsels under the revised guidelines issued by the sports ministry for Arjuna award. “I have not thought about it. If I apply, it might appear as if I’m begging for an award. The award is not my priority. All I want to know is why BAI is showing this step-motherly treatment towards me,” he said.
In 2019 also, Prannoy took to Twitter to express his displeasure over being overlooked for the Arjuna. “If you ever want your name in the Awards list, make sure you have people who will get your name to the list. Performance is least considered in our country. Sad state of our county but can’t help it. Let go and just play until you can,” he had tweeted then.