New Delhi: The Badminton Association of India (BAI), on Friday, recommended Kidambi Srikanth for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. However, the BAI has ignored Indian shuttler HS Prannoy for the Arjuna Award and has recommended Sameer Verma's name for the same.
According to a report in DNA, the BAI initially had not nominated world number 14 Srikanth and 28th ranked Prannoy for Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award respectively, on disciplinary grounds. "The two had not played the semifinal of the Asian Team Championship at Manila in February and instead left for Barcelona to play in another event. India ended up losing the semifinal but finished third in the competition," says the DNA report.
However, the top Indian shuttler apologised for pulling out of a tournament midway, and as for Prannoy, he has 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 the lurch. 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," read a BAI statement.
According to a report in The Hindu, BAI general-secretary Ajay Singhania said, “Considering Srikanth’s accomplishments, we have decided to recommend him for Khel Ratna.”
Talking about Prannoy, he said, “There are several instances of disciplinary issues with Prannoy. The Federation had been very tolerant with him, all this while but in the recent past his attitude has forced BAI to take action and also look at the disciplinary policies.”
It must be mentioned that 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 tweeted.