New Structure, Increased Prize Money, and Improved Competition – BAI Plans for the Future

By: Editor
Date: 01 Feb, 2021
Image Courtesy: GoBadminton

Badminton Association of India President Himanta Biswa Sarma celebrates his birthday today, but it appears he has been the one doling out the gifts & goodies for badminton players & fans over the past week with some incredibly significant decisions being taken.

From the appointment of Mattias Boe as the coach for the doubles team to the resumption of domestic badminton tournaments in India from April to the newly-conceived 3-tier domestic structure for senior levels – the past week has seen decisions that will have an impact on short-, mid-, and long-term future of the game in the country. While, these top-line items have deservingly taken the limelight, but there have been more nuggets in the details that have escaped a lot of attention but will be crucial for the development of the sport at the grassroot level.

For example, the inclusion of the junior shuttlers – who are prospects for 2024 and 2028 Olympics into the national camp as part of the Junior TOPS Scheme is one such example of how the association is casting a much long-term vision for the sport in the country, whilst taking care of the immediate resumption and incentivising the current crop of domestic players.

The newly announced three-tier structure of domestic tournaments takes the financial rewards on offer for domestic competitions to a whole new level in the country. Arguably, other than cricket, there is now no other sport with the kind of financial security that badminton offers for domestic players.

"The tournaments will see a lucrative prize money with Level 1 being valued at 25 lakhs. Level 2 and Level 3 will have 15 lakhs and 10 lakhs prize money for the respective tier tournaments while 50 Lakhs for the Senior Nationals Championships," read the BAI statement announcing the structure.

It is not just the financial reward on offer, but the profile, conduct, and level of competition in these tournaments that will see a significant improvement with the prize monies now announced.  And this was echoed by BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania, as he underlined the objectives of the new structure, “The new tournament structure and revised prize money will not only encourage and bring positivity in the ecosystem, but we also hope this structure will ensure more exposure to potential and new talents in the country.”

Several current and former badminton stars have come forward to laud the governing body’s decision with current doubles specialist Chirag Shetty calling it a great initiative.

“Haven’t seen tournaments with such high prize money in any other sport that too for domestic events. Will surely be a huge financial boost for all the players,” wrote Chirag on his Twitter handle.

Share this post with your friends

Visitors Guru
Most Viewed
Stay Connected