PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Satwik-Chirag headline India's squad for Sudirman Cup
The BAI has till now announced a 9-member squad for the upcoming Sudirman Cup that features top shuttlers like Sindhu, Srikanth, Praneeth and Nehwal.
After the triumphant outing of the Indian shuttlers at the Tokyo Olympics that was capped off with a bronze medal finish by PV Sindhu, the next major tournament on the plate will be the Sudirman Cup. Scheduled to be held from September 26, 2021 to October 3, 2021, the Sudirman Cup, which is a mixed team championship, will take place in Vantaa, Finland.
In the run-up to the prestigious tournament, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has announced a star-studded 9-member squad already that will set sail for Finland next month. The BAI General-Secretary, Ajay Kumar Singhania published a circular on Thursday for the affiliated state bodies and made the squad, so far, known.
"The BAI senior selection committee meeting was held virtually recently and the following players were selected unanimously on the basis of their BWF world rankings and consistent performance at the international level."
Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu obviously features right on top of the list, along with 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, veteran women's doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy. In the men's section, there is 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth, former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, the young Lakshya Sen alongside budding men's doubles force of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
Selection trials to be conducted for the rest of the squad
Aside from these seasoned shuttlers, the BAI will be conducting trials to onboard more players on the team for the Sudirman Cup. Selection trials will be held in Hyderabad over the next week and there are around 75 players - both senior and junior, to pick from, who have already been spotted by the BAI and SAI earlier.
The trials for the men's and women's singles will take place from August 18 to August 22 while for doubles, the dates are August 23 to 27. The selected players for the trials will have to come to the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad to try their luck for a spot on the Indian contingent headed to Finland. The BAI will release the final squad of players only after August 27, once the trials conclude.
Over three decades old now, the prestigious Sudirman Cup saw India making their debut only in 2009 and ever since, their best performance so far has been their journey to the quarter-final stages in 2011. In the 2021 edition of the Sudirman Cup, the Indians have been seeded ninth while 11-time champions China is placed as the Numero Uno seeded team, followed by 4-time Champions South Korea and Indonesia.