Prannoy not happy with BWF’s proposed rule changes

Indian ace shuttler H.S. Prannoy reckons the rule changes will not achieve the expected goal of increased commercial value for the sport.

Prannoy felt the proposed changes could give an advantage to players who are unfit.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Indian ace shuttler H.S. Prannoy is not happy with the Badminton World Federation’s proposal to reduce on-court coaching and tweak the scoring system, saying such changes will not achieve the expected goal of increased commercial value for the sport.

The BWF council has proposed that on-court coaching, which is allowed at the 11-point lemon break and at the end of every game in a match, be reduced but hasn’t explicitly specified to what extent.

'21 points not boring'

The proposal also suggests “reduce time being taken between points” and “reduce warm-up time” and “racket testing” - all aimed at enhancing the quality of its broadcast product.

The plan will require endorsement at the BWF’s Annual General Meeting in Bangkok in May but World No. 11 Prannoy remained sceptical.

“Badminton is an extremely fast sport and if you don’t have enough breaks, you have hardly time to breath, you can’t swipe sweat, you can’t go out or have water, I mean all the rules are against the players," he said before adding, “There are days when things don’t fall into place, so you need your coach on those days by your side because they know you best."

READ: Coaches wary of proposed new badminton rules

The world body’s panel has also called for a best-of-five format instead of the current three-game structure.

It has also been suggested that games be of 11 points each instead of the current 21-point format.

Prannoy felt the proposed changes could give an advantage to players who are unfit. “I’m not really supportive of this format because I don’t find 21 points to be boring. Probably, it would be an advantage for them who are not physically fit.

READ: Gopi plays waiting game on proposed change in scoring format

"I think in coming years we will find many players who have not been in the top 30 suddenly be in the top 30. I’m not really happy with the rule change,” he said.

“I don’t understand how tennis is spectator friendly when a match goes on for five hours, where everything is slow whereas a badminton match - hardly 90 minutes long - isn't able to keep the audience glued. I would say it is because the sport is not popular and it is not about the format or game,” Prannoy said.

“If TV can telecast a five-hour tennis match why can’t they show one quarterfinal day (in badminton) where the entire proceedings would be five hours. So, I don’t think to change the format to 11 or 15-point, would make any difference.”

All England ideal warm up for CWG

Prannoy has been missing in action this season after developing warts on his feet. He went for a treatment on February 1 and has recently started training again to compete at the All England Championship to be held from March 14 to 18.

“I removed them (warts) through a procedure on Feb 1. I went home and had some time off. I started training two weeks back and started playing this week. The All England Championship looks a little dicey for me as you need to be 100 per cent fit.

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"All the top players are playing, the draw looks tough and so are the conditions. So no plans, I hardly have two more weeks to go , so I am just looking to go there and enjoy.

“I am looking forward to doing well at the CWG. I will have three weeks after the All England and I should be fit for CWG," said the 25-year-old.

Prannoy also credited coach Pullela Gopichand and Kidambi Srikanth for setting the bar high for him and others.

“The bar that Srikanth has set after he won four Super Series Tour titles last year has really changed the mindset of the players. That has brought a good difference in our training sessions,” he said.

He also praised Sameer Verma and P Kashyap for battling injuries and coming back with a win at the Swiss and the Austrian Open.

“I have learnt from Sameer the power of positivity. He is never negative despite having suffered so many injuries. Same goes for Kashyap, who is one of the most experienced in the team,"

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