The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Friday recommended Kidambi Srikanth for the Khel Ratna award after the top Indian shuttler apologised for pulling out of a tournament midway and show-caused his teammate H S Prannoy for slamming the federation after not being nominated for the Arjuna honour. Both Srikanth and Prannoy had not played the semifinal of the Asian Team Championship at Manila in February. Instead, they left for Barcelona to play in another event. India ended up losing the semifinal but finished third in the competition. On disciplinary grounds, the BAI did not nominate world number 14 Srikanth and 28th ranked Prannoy for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award respectively.
Though Srikanth’s application has been forwarded to the Sports Ministry, Prannoy has been ignored and instead been asked to respond for his outburst against BAI within 15 days.
“…..Srikanth and Prannoy had left the squad at the Asian Badminton Championship in Manila in February, despite advice not to leave, which put India’s chances of winning the historic medal at the championship in lurch,” read a BAI statement.
“We have received an email from Srikanth in which he has accepted the mistake and he has also promised to not indulge in such activities in the future,” it added.
“Considering the talent of Srikanth and the accomplishments, we have decided to recommend his name for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award,” BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania said.
Prannoy had launched a scathing attack on BAI after being overlooked for the Arjuna nomination for the second successive year.
“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 had written on Twitter.
On Prannoy, Singhania added: “There are several instances of disciplinary issues with Prannoy. The Federation had been very tolerant all this while but in the recent past his attitude has forced BAI to take action and also relook at the disciplinary policies.
“A show-cause letter has been issued for the remarks made. If the player fails to respond in the allotted time, BAI will be taking stern action,” Singhania said.
BAI is also formulating a code of conduct for its players, coaches and technical officials, which has to be “abided strictly”.
BAI has recommended Sameer Verma for the Arjuna award instead of Prannoy.
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