There seems to be no end to the embarrassment the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has invited by targeting G. Jwala and suggesting life-ban on the doubles specialist for her role in a delayed match in the Indian Badminton League (IBL).
A day after BAI decided to constitute an ‘independent’ three-member committee to hear Jwala’s response to the punishment recommended by the disciplinary committee, former Chief National coach and selector Vimal Kumar has questioned the move.
In a letter addressed to BAI secretary Vijay Sinha on Tuesday, a “disappointed” Vimal asked, “Why now a new three-member committee? BAI is wasting time and inviting ridicule by dragging on this issue. First and foremost, BAI needs to show transparency in the issue.”
Vimal, who suggested steps to BAI to deal with the situation, said: “I am very disappointed with the decision and (the) direction BAI is heading in this matter. Badminton got good visibility/rating during the IBL and instead of capitalising on that, we are inviting an unwanted controversy. Jwala was asked for an explanation by BAI through a committee constituted and she has responded. We should just leave it at that.”
Seeking transparency in its working, Vimal has asked BAI to “put the entire episode and findings of BAI’s Disciplinary Committee and Jwala’s response to it on the BAI website. This will give a clear picture on the issue not only to BAI’s affiliated units but to the entire badminton fraternity.
“At present, the entire international participation of Indian players, both at the junior and senior levels, are funded by SAI/Ministry of Sports.
“Trying to stop Jwala from playing, citing this issue, is bound to invite the wrath of Sports Ministry and can eventually lead to court cases. Avoid such a situation.”
Vimal suggested a meeting between the two parties to resolve the matter by organising, “a one-on-one meeting with the President of BAI and Jwala. Their discussions can be a closed-door affair and need not be made public. Close the issue that way.”
He observed that recommendations of the disciplinary committee that Jwala apologise to the BAI president and close the issue appeared “ridiculous and put the BAI in poor light.”
“Do not encourage sycophancy in BAI and members should be encouraged to freely put forth their views. This will help BAI in taking decisions in a judicious manner.
“Make the Governing Council for next edition of IBL proper, with clear dos and don’ts for everyone and the same communicated properly.”
Vimal appealed to the badminton authorities, “BAI needs to focus now on the Thomas/Uber Cup finals allotted to India by BWF. India has a strong chance of doing well in Uber Cup as we have two strong ladies in Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa deciding to play together again can help in making doubles a strong one. So, it is all the more important that this present controversy is closed immediately.”