As anticipated, the Disciplinary Committee of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has recommended a life-ban on doubles specialist G. Jwala for her role in delaying the Indian Badminton League fixture between Delhi Smashers and Banga Beats in Bangalore on August 25.
Jwala was served a show-cause notice on September 4 after the matter was discussed in the BAI’s general body meeting in Mumbai on August 31. She sent her reply within 14 days. S. Muralidharan, who headed the disciplinary committee, said if Jwala apologised to the BAI president Akhilesh Kumar Das, she could escape a life-ban.
The BAI went by tournament referee Girish Natu’s report in which he held Jwala responsible for “coercing her team members for uncalled for indiscipline,” for causing “harm to the spirit and interest of the tournament,” for “failing to maintain the stature of the tournament,” for “imposing unwarranted hardship to the TV viewers, spectators and all other concerned,” besides preventing and compelling teammate B. Sai Praneeth from playing the opening match of the tie.
V.K. Mahendru, member-secretary of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board, an affiliate of BAI, reacted strongly to the recommendation of the disciplinary committee.
Speaking to The Hindu from Amritsar, Mahendru said: “We firmly stand alongside Jwala, a distinguished member of the Petroleum family. I urge Akhilesh Das Gupta to set aside this recommendation, keeping in mind Jwala’s contribution to the game and the laurels she has brought to the country.”
Mahendru, expected to issue an official statement on Sunday, was categorical in his view that “Jwala acted in the best interests of the team” and not as portrayed in the report of the tournament referee.