Reigning Indian national champion Sourabh Verma seeks financial support

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Sourabh Verma (L) and Saina Nehwal win the India national championships last Saturday. (photo: BAI)
Sourabh Verma (L) and Saina Nehwal win the India national championships last Saturday. (photo: BAI)

Guwahati: India’s World No. 55 Sourabh Verma who had just won his third India’s senior national championships men’s singles title last Saturday, said he had to pay for the arrangements for his next two international tournaments out of his own pocket.

The 26-year-old, who also won the Indian senior national championships in 2011 and 2017, has been looking for additional financial help from Badminton Association of India (BAI) so that he could play more international tournaments in order to improve his current world ranking.

“Due to the new rule, only top 25 players can get financial help from BAI. That shut-off any sort of financial support I can get to continue playing at international tournaments, which eventually lead to the slip of my world ranking,” said Verma.

However, he did admit that BAI had paid him for the Dutch Open.

“Yes, BAI sponsored me for the Dutch Open after my performance at two domestic tournaments, but if I can get more financial support, I can do well at international tournaments as well,” added Verma.

“In order to get more international ranking points, I need to play at least 10 to 12 tournaments a year. I took care of my knee problem last year and now I am playing at tournaments on my own. I am just a badminton player, it’s a big burden if I need to afford all this by myself.”

Verma said that he had to even pay for all his travel arrangements for his next two tournaments — Swiss Open and Orleans Open.

“I will be playing Swiss Open and Orleans Open next after Barcelona Masters. I have paid for my visa and financing everything (hotel and travel) all by myself. So I don’t have many options to play bigger tournaments.”

Verma broke onto the badminton scene when he first took the India national championships in 2011 and won the Bahrain International challenge. He then became the runner up in Syed Modi Grand Prix where he lost to Taufik Hidayat.

But since then, he has been plagued with several other injuries that caused him yet to be able to give consistent performances like his younger brother Sameer Verma, who is now ranked World No. 13.

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