The prestigious All England Badminton Open Championships is back upon us yet again. It feels like yesterday when it was the final major badminton tournament held before almost the entire world went into a complete lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the most prominent badminton tournament, the All England Open will be held from 17th March to 21st March at the Utilita Arena Brimingham this year. Though one of the most prominent badminton tournaments, the players would try to use this edition of All England Open to get into proper rhythm due to it being the only tournament which will not affect their Olympic chances.
How does the Indian contingent shape up for the event?
India is sending a strong 19 member contingent to England led by PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth in women's singles and men's singles respectively.
Besides Sindhu, veteran Saina Nehwal is the only other Indian representation in women's singles. While, the men's singles will have HS Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap, Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma and Lakshya Sen in action along with Srikanth.
The in-form men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be accompanied by the duo of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila in the same category.
The women's doubles, on the other hand, will see three Indian pairs – Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy, Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha Ram, Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam in the fray.
While three mixed doubles pairs of Satwik and Ponnappa, Kapila and Jakkampudi, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy will also be in the mix.
Schedule for Indian Players
While the likes of PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth seem to have got away with reasonably easier draws in the first round, Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap would have their task cut out right from the word go.
Saina would be up against the in-form Danish Mia Blichdeldt who was shown the exit door by PV Sindhu in the semi-finals of the Swiss Open just a week back. While, Kashyap would face the World Number 1 Kento Momota from Japan who is recovering from a bout with covid-19 and will be in action for the first time in this year.
PV Sindhu vs Soniia Cheah (Malaysia)
Saina Nehwal vs Mia Blichfeldt (Denmark)
Kidambi Srikanth vs Tommy Sugiarto (Indonesia)
Parupalli Kashyap vs Kento Momota (Japan)
Lakshya Sen vs Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Thailand)
HS Prannoy vs Liew Daren (Malaysia)
Sameer Verma vs Ygor Coelho (Brazil)
B Sai Praneeth vs Toma Junior Popov (France)
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty vs Eloi Adam/Julien Maio (France)
MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila vs Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (Malaysia)
Ashwini Ponnappa/ N Sikki Reddy vs Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Thailand)
Meghana Jakkampudi/Poorvisha Ram vs Alexandre Boje/Mette Poulsen (Denmark)
Ashwini Bhat/Shikha Gautam vs Chloe Birch/Lauren Smith (England)
Dhruv Kapila/Meghana Jakkampudi vs Praveen Jordan/Melati Oktavianti (Indonesia)
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/ Ashwini Ponnappa vs Yuki Kaneko/Misaki Matsutomo (Japan)
Pranaav Jerry Chopra/ N Sikki Reddy vs Max Flynn/Jessica Pugh (England)
Where to Watch?
The tournament will be telecasted in India by the Star Sports Network and can be streamed live on Disney+Hotstar.