KBSA backtracks, lifts N. G. Balasubramannian’s two-year suspension

The badminton doubles star had put out a post on social media, pointing out disparity in prize-money.

N. G. Balasubramannian (left) and K. Dilshad are now free to play the senior Nationals in Hyderabad early next year.   -  Special Arrangement

Two days after surprisingly handing out a two-year suspension to State men’s doubles champion N.G. Balasubramannian for an innocuous post on social media, the Kerala Badminton (Shuttle) Association has backtracked and virtually withdrawn the order.

A few days ago, Balasubramannian had posted a combined photo of the doubles champions of Karnataka and Kerala on Facebook; it pointed out that while Karnataka gave a cash prize of ₹14,000 to its State championship winners, his home State gave nothing.

That had upset the KBSA and in a shocking move, it punished the Thiruvananthapuram-based star with a two-year suspension, barring the 24-year-old from playing registered tournaments at the district, State and national level.

‘Habitual offender’

“He is a habitual offender, he has committed many acts of indiscipline in the past, too, including playing in unauthorised tournaments, so this punishment should not be seen as something for just this new offence,” explained R. Rakesh Sekhar, the KBSA secretary, from Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday morning.

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That explanation, however, did not appear convincing.

‘Special case’

A few hours later, perhaps realising that it had committed a grave error and also taking note of the letter of apology sent by Balasubramannian, the KBSA issued a letter on Thursday evening saying that its “president (Kollam-based advocate K. Anil Kumar) has temporarily withdrawn the disciplinary action as a special case.”

Clearly, the move has saved the KBSA further embarrassment.

Rakesh Sekhar, also a former State badminton star, explained that the letter mentioned of the disciplinary action being “temporarily withdrawn” as it has to be ratified by the disciplinary committee and the general body. The ratification could now be a mere formality.

Balasubramannian and his doubles partner K. Dilshad are now free to play the senior Nationals in Hyderabad early next year.

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