Posted On Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 09:03:08 AM
New Delhi: Pullela Gopichand’s tone seemed fatherly when he spoke of Saina Nehwal’s recuperation. Throughout her career, Saina has been dogged by injuries to her ankle and knees and the last year has been no different.
However, Saina accepts that the rigours of international badminton can be tough on a player’s body and playing all through the year will mean that no one will be safe from injuries and niggles. That’s why the recuperation period between tournaments is very important for the top players.
But the Badminton Association of India’s new guidelines, a copy of which is with Mirror, not only want Saina and other top-ranked shuttlers to play the international circuit and attend the national camps but they also want her to play all the domestic events that take place through the year and thereby increasing their workload even further.
In December last, Saina caused quite a furore when she played for just under half an hour and was holding two match points against Ksenia Polikarpova of Russia when she clinched her leg and conceded the first round encounter of the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold event in Lucknow.
Even Gopichand felt that “playing all the four events would be unfair to Saina but rules are rules and she has to follow them as well.”
It was learnt that October-December is one of the toughest periods in the circuit with many Super Series events —including the Super Series Finals that are held just before the Syed Modi meet — hosted at that time and Saina has to attend all of them (she always plays in the India Super Series and will be part of the IBL).
“The Super Series finals is a must for all top eight ranked players and Saina will be fined heavily if she misses that and to play an event right after the Super Series Final will be physically tough for even the best players,” a national coaching staff member told this paper.