Jwala Gutta is in the news again. She has for another time hit out at the Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) diktat for forcing all top players to participate in the Senior National Championships here.
Gutta, however, justified top shuttler Saina Nehwal’s decision to skip the event citing busy international schedule, but blamed the BAI for maintaining two different sets of rules for two different individuals. “The rules have been bent for a few individuals while others have been asked to participate forcefully,” Gutta told dna on the sidelines of the senior tourney.
Gutta, along with her doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa, is one of the star attractions of the tourney. She felt that top international players should be given option to decide on their participation based on international schedule. “One has to understand that players like Saina, Ashwini or I have busy international schedules and so deserve to get special treatment by our association. We’ve performed well in the international circuit for so many years. Take my case. I’ve won the national championships for 13 years and still have been given raw treatment by BAI for some reason,” said Gutta, adding: “If my integrity is still being questioned, then make sure that every other player does participate here and should be treated equally.”
Gutta was certainly pointing towards Nehwal's case where she has been given exemption to skip this event because of her recent injury during an international event.
“There is no specific system in place. Last year, the BAI made a major announcement that participation in the Nationals was mandatory, so here I am. I can understand Saina not playing because one can’t play so many tournaments. But what about others who are not here?” asked Gutta, who is fighting a court battle against the BAI after Indian Badminton League fiasco.
Gutta also disclosed that she's planning to open her badminton academy in her hometown Hyderabad. “I’ve everything ready – sponsors, plan etc – but waiting for the state government’s nod. It’s time for me to give something back to the game,” she said.