Prannoy hits out at BAI after Arjuna Award snub

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H.S. Prannoy has expressed displeasure over his name not being recommended for the Arjuna Award by the Badminton Association of India (BAI). The BAI on Tuesday had recommended the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and singles player Sameer Verma for the award.

The former World No. 8 questioned the selection criteria and took to the social media to voice his frustration. “#arjunaawards Same old story. Guy who has medals in CWG and Asian Championship not even recommended by Association and guy who was not there on any of these major events recommended #waah #thiscountryisajoke,” he wrote.

The former national champion told The Hindu that his credentials as a player were better than the awardees in the last two years. “The BAI never really cares. Last year at least my name was there before the committee and I was omitted in the last round and they said my performance towards the end of the year was not good,” he said. “But this year my name wasn’t even recommended by the federation. I must say I have better credentials than the winners of the award in the last two years.”

Sikki Reddy (2018) and Sai Praneeth (2019) won the award in the last two years.

BAI response

When contacted for a response, a top BAI official said, “We recommended the names of coaches and players after assessing their performances in the last four years. The players and coaches were chosen strictly on merit and their names were forwarded to the sports ministry. There is no room for any controversy.”

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