Saina Nehwal dropped from India badminton contingents for CWG, Asian Games, Thomas and Uber Cup

After six days of high-voltage competition and exciting action at the selection processes here at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Thursday announced strong Indian contingents to take part in the upcoming Thomas and Uber Cup Commonwealth games and Asian games.

London Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal, who was unable to compete in trials, is not included in either squad.

At the Commonwealth Games, the men’s team consists of Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty and B. Sumeeth Reddy, while PV Sindhu will lead the women’s team with Aakarshi Kashyap, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri P and Ashwini Ponappa.

Sumeet Reddy and Ponappa made the men’s and women’s squads for the Commonwealth Games respectively after taking first place in the mixed doubles category.

The 14-year-old Rohtak Unnati Hooda teenage sensation definitely caught the attention of the selection as she secured a spot for the Asian Games as well as the Uber Cup, finishing in women’s singles behind Kashyap and Ashmita Chaliha, who finished first and second respectively. Hooda is the youngest Indian badminton player in the Asian Games roster.

A 10-man women’s team for the Asian Games and Uber Cup will consist of PV Sindhu, Kashyap, Chaliha and Hooda, as well as the top 3 doubles pairs from the Trials – Treesa Jolly-Gayatri P, N Sikki Reddy-Ashwini Ponappa and Tanisha Crasto – Shruti Mishra.

Sindhu, Sen, Srikanth and men’s doubles Satwiksairaj and Shetty have been added straight to the rosters for their world rankings within the top-15. In-form Shuttle player HS Prannoy has also been included in automatic selection due to his consistently impressive recent form on international circuits.

Priyanshu Rajawat, who took first place in the men’s singles category, also made it into the 10-man contingent for the Asian Games and Thomas Cup alongside Sen, Srikanth and Prannoy. The team also has Satwiksairaj and Shetty and the top 2 doubles pairs from the Trials – Dhruv Kapila – MR Arjun and Vishnu Vardhan Goud – Krishna Prasad Gariga.

“We are delighted with the energy of the selection process. All the players gave their all on the pitch to earn a chance to represent the country. It’s great to see the high-level battles for positions. I congratulate all players and wish them the best of luck in their preparations for mega-events,” said Sanjay Mishra, Secretary General of the BAI, after the selection meeting, which took place late Wednesday evening.

“This new format for Trials has been designed to provide a platform where both senior and young players can have opportunities and now you can see the squads are a great mix of youth and experience and you are safe that each of them will succeed in making the most of this opportunity and make India proud,” Mishra added.

The Trials featured 120 players across the five categories as the April 15-20 league round-robin format tested players’ skills at each stage.

Aside from the rosters for the three major tournaments scheduled to be held this year, the BAI has also finalized the names of 40 players (20 men and 20 women) for the national senior coaching camp and core group for the 2024 Olympics player positions in exams.

The 32nd edition of Thomas Cup and 29th Uber Cup are scheduled in Bangkok from May 8th to 15th, while the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games 2022 will start in Birmingham and Hangzhou on July 28th and September 10th respectively.

Indian squads

Commonwealth Games: (Men) Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty and B. Sumeeth Reddy; (Women) PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri P, Ashwini Ponappa

Asian Games and Thomas & Uber Cup: (Men) Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Priyanshu Rajawat, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Dhruv Kapila, MR Arjun, Vishnu Vardhan Goud, Krishna Prasad Gariga (Women) PV Sindhu, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha, Unnati Hooda, Treesa Jolly, Gayatri P, N Sikki Reddy, Ashwini Ponappa, Tanisha Crasto, and Shruti Mishra.

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Published on: Thursday, April 21, 2022 7:54 PM IST

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