In a startling move, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has withdrawn the entry of G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa from the women’s doubles event of next week’s Denmark Open even as the flamboyant Hyderabad shuttler waited for her petition, seeking participation in the event, to be heard by the Delhi High Court on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Jwala moved the court seeking to allow her participation in overseas events against the diktats of the BAI. However, the demise of a lawyer forced the adjournment of all hearings at the court. The matter will come up in the court of Justice V.K. Jain on Thursday.
The withdrawal of entry was reflected on the Denmark Open website. As a result, top seeded Chinese pair of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang moved into the second round.
The timing of the withdrawal has stunned the badminton fraternity. “I can’t believe how BAI officials could stoop so low to haunt a player who has done the country so proud,” reacted a former player of stature. “I understand it is a matter of ego for those in power in the BAI. But what is the fault of poor Ashwini in the whole controversy? Even she is getting penalised for no fault of hers.”
Jwala’s father Kranti told The Hindu that his daughter was upset with the move but was calm.
“We will decide our course of action once the Delhi High Court takes up her plea. I spoke to Jwala and she wants a permanent solution to the problem. The denial to play an event or two can be dealt with. We can’t help it. Jwala’s ultimate aim is to qualify for the next Olympics and bring a medal for the country.”
It may be recalled that Jwala and Ashwini, bronze medallists in the 2011 World championship and winners of the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold, had planned to join hands once again at the Denmark Open, starting October 15, after having last played as a pair in the 2012 Olympics in London. Apparently, the move to come together had not gone down well with the BAI.