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Thomas & Uber Cup squad announced; preparatory camp cancelled

Bengaluru, Sept. 10: With the standard protocol and seven days of mandatory quarantine not ending before September 17 which was the initially scheduled date of team selection for the Thomas & Uber Cup, it was decided to cancel the preparatory camp and the Indian team selection was conducted by the six-member selection committee on Thursday.

“After a lot of deliberations and multi-label meetings with all stakeholders including Sports Authority of India, we have decided to cancel the camp. With the SOP implemented and quarantine procedures followed, there will not be enough time to conduct a camp and hence it was a decision taken in consultation with the five selectors and the National Coach. We have also selected a team that will be representing India at the Thomas & Uber Cup as well as the other two tournaments to be played in Denmark,” said Badminton Association of India (BAI) General Secretary Ajay Singhania.

In the absence of the World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth has opted out due to fitness concerns from the entire Denmark leg.

India’s Thomas Cup squad will now be led by former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth with Parupalli Kashyap and Lakshya Sen being the other top stars. The doubles charge will be spearheaded by former national champions Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy as the country’s No. 1 duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had to pull out following Rankireddy testing positive for COVID-19.

India’s Uber Cup squad will be bolstered by the presence of both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu after the latter consented to her availability at the insistence of BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy, meanwhile, will be helming the doubles department with youngsters Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod also getting a look into the squad.

In Thomas Cup, India has been placed in Group C with 2016 champions Denmark being their biggest competition, besides Germany and Algeria in the same group. In Uber Cup, India finds itself in Group D with the other teams being China, Germany and France. However, the 14-time champions China are still awaiting confirmation of their participation.

The selected players have been asked to submit fitness certificates by September 17 and players have been advised to train on their own and keep BAI updated on their regular fitness and training status. Team departure will be intimated to the players in due course of time once everything is finalized.

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Story first published: Thursday, September 10, 2020, 19:59 [IST]
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