India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal will give the upcoming Premier Badminton League a miss, when other top Indian shuttlers, including P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, will be gunning for glory as they begin their campaign at the event slated to take place from January 20 to February 9 next year. World No. 9 Saina took to Twitter to announce her withdrawal from the tournament on Sunday.
Saina has made early exits in a series of tournaments this year. She was also not part of this week’s Korea Masters World Tour Super 300 tournament, citing lack of preparation time due to poor health and injuries. "I won’t be part of the PBL Season 5. I haven’t been well most part of the year due to pancreatitis and injuries and I would like to take time during the PBL to prepare better,” read her tweet.
The 29-year-old Saina has been out of competitive action ever since she suffered a first-round exit at the Hong Kong Open Super 500 tournament two weeks back. The Chinese Cai Yan Yan clinched a straight-game win over her higher-ranked opponent 21-13, 22-20. Last month, Cai had knocked Saina out of Fuzhou China Open after a first-round win over the Indian shuttler.
Saina, struggling with form, did not have the best outing so far this year as she suffered multiple first-round exits from five tournaments. Her only title in 2019, however, came earlier this year when she won the Indonesia Masters.
The fifth season of the league is scheduled to begin from January 20 next year. Nehwal, who captained North Eastern Warriors team, had played for the Awadhe Warriors for three seasons of the league. The auctions for the fifth season will be held in New Delhi on November 26.