New Delhi: Indian shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap, Saina Nehwal and Sai Praneeth on Friday lashed out at the revamped tournament calendar announced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for the remaining 2020 season following disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taking to Twitter, Kashyap complained about the tight schedule of the competitions and wrote, "22 events in 5 months. Ok. Firstly, practice hasn't begun yet. @hkvittinghus @ViktorAxelsen @NSaina @PRANNOYHSPRI @janojorgensen @CarolinaMarin @srikidambi @saiprneeth92. Your thoughts guys ??"
"I wonder how can someone schedule tournaments like this," Praneeth tweeted.
Kashyap jokingly said, "5 months non stop travel ? @saiprneeth92 @NSaina."
To which Praneeth replied, "Ppl are saying to reduce travel and we are doing more travel than before."
Nehwal, on the other hand, wrote, "5 months non stop travel ... biggest question is what are the international guidelines of travelling during this #coronavirus pandemic??"
She further cited that the tennis body has not announced its calendar or plans till October due to the pandemic. "Tennis didn't even come out with any plan till October," she tweeted.
In the rejigged calendar announced on Friday, 22 competitions are scheduled within a span of five months which will serve as a great threat for the athletes.
The BWF World Tour is scheduled for a return with the Taipei Open 2020 (Super 300) from September 1-6. The badminton's governing body aims to resume the sport with Hyderabad Open 2020 from August 11-16.
On the contrary, most of the shuttlers have not even started their training amid lockdown and other restrictions.
The most important thing is that many countries have not yet opened international air travel or visa process. If the restrictions remain intact, the players will find it hard to participate in the competitions which will act as a match practice for the Tokyo Olympics next year.
The New Zealand Open 2020 (Super 300), Indonesia Open 2020 (Super 1000), Malaysia Open 2020 (Super 750), Thailand Open 2020 (Super 500), and India Open 2020 (Super 500) have all found new homes on the calendar, the BWF said in a release.
The Olympic-qualifying India Open badminton tournament will now be held from December 8-13 in Delhi.
The season-ending BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China has been pushed back a week and will now conclude on December 20, 2020.
The BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020 in Aarhus, Denmark will take place from October 3-11, 2020. The BWF has suspended German Open 2020, Swiss Open 2020, 2020 European Championships and Australian Open 2020.