India badminton star HS Prannoy created quite a stir after lashing out at the selection criteria for nominating athletes for national sports awards. Like previous year, Pranny took exception at being snubbed for a second straight time while accusing those with lesser achievements have got the nod ahead of him.Also Read - Ravichandran Ashwin, Mithali Raj Nominated For Khel Ratna; Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul For Arjuna Award
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) nominated the men’s singles shuttler Sameer Verma and the doubled pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty for the Arjuna Awards on Tuesday. Also Read - Olympic Hopes All But Over For Saina Nehwal And Kidambi Srikanth as Indian Team Withdraws From Malaysian Open
“I have no problem with Sameer being recommended for the awards,” Prannoy was quoted as saying by The Times of India. “My only question is that why didn’t BAI recommend me. They could have recommended me as a fourth person with Satwik, Chirag and Sameer but even that too didn’t happen.” Also Read - Orleans Masters: Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth Make Winning Starts
However, Prannoy may still be able to send his nomination with the Sports Ministry announcing tweak in rules for this year’s awards due to the coronavirus forced lockdown while extending the deadline too.
Athletes have now self-nominate without needing the endorsement of their respective federations and former award winners.
In recent years, Prannoy has won gold in the mixed team event at the 2018 CWG, medals at the Asian events and beaten the likes of Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long apart from besting compatriot Kidambi Srikanth during the final of national championships.
However, Prannoy says he hasn’t thought of applying himself to not give an indication he’s begging for an award.
I have not thought about it. If I apply, it might appear as if I’m begging for an award. The award is not my priority. All I want to know is why BAI is showing this step-motherly treatment towards me,” he said.
He also accused the current BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma and secretary Ajay K Singhania of not hearing what the players have to say.
“Both the president and the secretary are busy with their own works and do not have the time to hear what the players need to say. I’ve been in their blacklist for a long time since I constantly vent my voice out,” he said.