Badminton has gained popularity in India, says Chetan Anand

The 36-year-old, four-times national champion says he has no regrets as he is not one of those who crib at missed opportunities and ponder on things which were not in his control.

The four-times national champion says it is a great sight to see many Indians doing well at the highest level.   -  M Vedhan

He was a connoisseur’s delight at his peak. An artist with a touch of class but who never really got his due at his best like in 2009 with a World No. 10 ranking. But, he always maintained a dignified silence, rarely raising his voice despite the indifferent treatment.

And, he hasn’t changed much even now as the graceful Chetan Anand embarks on a different role as one of the coaches appointed by the Badminton Association of India (BAI).

The 36-year-old, four-times national champion says he has no regrets as he is not one of those who crib at missed opportunities and ponder on things which were not in his control. “May be, if I had the kind of support which is existing now to the players, I would have done better. Well, they (BAI) could have handled the seniors better and differently,” says Chetan whose major achievements include Toulouse Open, Syed Modi Grand Prix, Bitburger Open, Dutch Grand Prix titles.

“Yes, this appointment on the panel of coaches is a welcome sign as I am already into coaching for the last two years at my Ganges Chetan Anand Academy on the Gokaraju Rangaraju Engineering College campus near here,” says the Arjuna Awardee.

For someone who was also the World No. 11 for an year at his peak, Chetan says it is a great sight to see many Indians doing well at the highest level. “This is possible because of the support from the Government, the BAI and also because you have a coaching system in place,” he says.

“The big difference compared to my playing days and now is the exposure to major events. This was missing then and this is what a player needs to showcase his mettle. The more the merrier, it is as simple as that,” says Chetan.

“But the standard of the game is almost the same, only the styles of players have changed. For instance, it is more of power and stamina unlike the classical form in my playing days which the spectators loved too,” feels the classy shuttler  who was an absolute delight to watch during his playing days.

“The sport itself has grown in popularity beyond imagination. I am glad with the kind of attention it is getting all over – among the fans and in the media too. Now, the players are conscious of the fact that they if they perform, there is recognition on all fronts. This is a huge incentive to keep improving now,” Chetan says.

“Perhaps, the reason for only Hyderabad and Bengaluru being the hubs of Indian badminton is the infrastructure in terms of number of stadia available and also the fact that there are coaches like Prakash Sir and Gopi in these two centres who are too good in their job,” he said.

“Yes, it is always good to have these kind of hubs across India,” he added.

“I am yet to get clarity on what exactly will be my role but I am more than willing to give back to the game."

“I love to produce players who experience those golden moments of triumph at the highest level,” he signed off.