India will host three back-to-back badminton tournaments, including a new event -- the Odisha Open --, in January next year, according to the international calendar unveiled by the sport's governing body BWF on Thursday.
The India Open Super 500, which was cancelled in 2020 as well as this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be the first tournament of 2022, scheduled from January 11 to 16.
The Syed Modi International Super 300, which was also cancelled by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for the second year in a row in September, will be held from January 18 to 23.
It will be followed by the Odisha Open Super 100, to be played from January 25 to 30.
The Hyderabad Open Super 100 tournament, which was also cancelled in 2020 as well as this year, does not feature in the calendar for 2022.
"The HSBC BWF World Tour calendar is based on the principle of cluster tournaments primarily throughout Asia as well as traditional European tournament stops where the prospect of travel in that region is more viable," the BWF said in a statement.
The world body added that it is still discussing whether additional Super 100 tournaments will be added to the revamped calendar.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said: "The goal has always been to put player safety first and with the success of the Asian Leg in January 2021 in Thailand serving as a gateway for international competitions to resume, the BWF Tournament Calendar for 2022 has a number of cluster tournaments planned to mitigate the complexity surrounding cross-border travel."
It is likely that tournaments in 2022 will have BWF safety provisions around them. "However, BWF hopes to gradually transition to conducting tournaments with fewer Covid-19 restrictions in 2022 as we slowly return to normalcy with less limitations on hosting international events," he added.