Domestic badminton season resumption once again derailed by COVID-19

The senior ranking tournaments to be held in Bangalore were postponed after local authorities denied permission to host the events due to the COVID-19 situation.

The first senior tournament (men and women) was scheduled to be held from August 27 and would have marked the resumption of the domestic season after a gap of more than one and a half years. (Representative Image)   -  Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the domestic season with the Badminton Association of India (BAI) forced to postpone this month's senior ranking tournaments in Bangalore after local authorities denied permission to host the events.

The first senior tournament (both men and women) was scheduled to be held from August 27 to September 3, while the second event was supposed to be staged from September 4 to 11 and would have marked the resumption of the domestic season after a gap of more than one and a half years.

"Unfortunately the tournaments had to be postponed till further notice as the Bangalore government didn't give permission to host the event due to the current COVID-19 situation," BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania told PTI.

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Earlier, BAI had decided to resume the domestic tournaments with the two senior ranking tournaments in April but was forced to postpone the same due to rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

"We didn't get permission from local authorities as cases are already spiking in some states like Kerela and also in Bangalore there has been weekend curfews and containment zones," said P Rajesh, Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) secretary.

"Also there are more than 2000 entries, which also include under 18 kids, who would be more vulnerable."

Earlier, BAI had laid down guidelines for the resumption of tournaments, urging players above the age of 18, coaches, technical officials, organising team and staff to get fully vaccinated and also carry their certificates with valid barcodes.

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Last year, BAI was forced to postpone the Senior National Championships in Lucknow between April 27 to May 3 in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and also postpone the domestic circuit till September.

No event could be organised in the last one and half years during which the India Open Super 500 event, which was one of the Olympic qualifiers, was also cancelled.

The international circuit has also been affected by the pandemic with the game's governing body Badminton World Federation (BWF) revamping the calendar multiple times to ensure some badminton action for the athletes.

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