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Badminton

Aparna Balan petitions Kerala High Court on exclusion from Asian Games squad

Aparna Balan petitions Kerala High Court on exclusion from Asian Games squad
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Published: 2 July 2018 2:50 PM GMT
Building on the issues that have been happening for quite some time now, snubbed shuttler Aparna Balan has now decided to take legal action against Pullela Gopichand and the Badminton Association of India (BAI) regarding her blatant exclusion from the Badminton squad bound for the Asian Games. The Writ Petition was filed by Balan earlier today and directs 5 major respondents- the Union of India (Represented by the Secretary of MYAS), the BAI, Gopichand, Gayatri Gopichand and Akarshi Kashyap. The Bridge accessed a copy of the petition The principle point of complaint is that she "was excluded at the interest of the 3rd Respondent (Pullela Gopichand), who was part of the Selection Committee, in order to include 3rd Respondent's daughter into the team." For the Asian Games, the BAI had conducted two senior trials with points accumulated over both being held for consideration for inclusion into the squad. In the selection of the team, the BAI had chosen to give automatic selection to 9 players in the Men's Team and 4 players in the women's team. So, essentially, the trials were being conducted to fill up spots for only one male player and 6 female players. Ever since the team was announced, there was widespread criticism regarding the BAI's decision to send 6 Singles players in the team. Only 3 Singles players are technically allowed to be entered into competition according to norms. With one of them being kept as a back up, the mathematical conclusion is that 2 Singles players may not even get a chance to play. On the other hand, the women's team has only two Doubles Teams and is going without a backup in case a player gets injured. Across the two selection trials, Aparna Balan and her Women's Doubles partner Shruti KP won the title in Hyderabad and reached the semi finals in Bengaluru. This automatically gave them more points than Gayatri Gopichand who had reached the semi finals in one trials and the quarterfinals in the other. While writing for
The Bridge
, Aparna Balan had insinuated that this is not the first time that she had been denied a place in the National Team. Her partner and she had to go through a similar ordeal in 2014 in the days leading up to both the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. "One week before the 2014 Asiads began, we got a notification saying that there was a case of excess in the Indian contingent and players needed to be cut down. Unluckily, I was found to be the least important in the team," she wrote. Also read: I have been cheated by the Federation | By Aparna Balan It remains to be seen what the reaction to this step by Aparna Balan is going to be.
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