In a startling move, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has withdrawn the entry of G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa from the women’s doubles event of next week’s Denmark Open even as the flamboyant Hyderabad shuttler waited for her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 adjournment of all hearings. The matter will come up before Justice V.K. Jain on Thursday. The withdrawal of entry was reflected on the Denmark Open website. As a result, top seeded Chinese pair Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang moved into the second round.
The timing of withdrawal has stunned the badminton fraternity in the country. “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? She is getting penalised for no fault of hers.”
Jwala’s father Kranti told The Hindu that his daughter was upset at 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.”