Pro-Jwala voices become strident
Pro-Jwala voices become strident. Throwing their weight behind the embattled Jwala Gutta, several former players have described the Badminton Association of India (BAI) disciplinary committee's recommendation of a life ban on the star doubles player as "ridiculous and harsh"
Throwing their weight behind the embattled Jwala Gutta, several former players have described the Badminton Association of India (BAI) disciplinary committee's recommendation of a life ban on the star doubles player as "ridiculous and harsh".
According to former national champion, Arvind Bhat, "It is a very harsh decision. I think BAI could have dealt with it in a quieter way and not go to the press and defame her in this way. I don't know exactly what she said during the IBL match. They could have just warned her. Moreover, she is the spokesperson of the Delhi team and as an icon player she spoke on behalf of her team. It was a team decision."
India's top men's doubles players KT Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas, who played for Pune Pistons in the inaugural IBL, also said it was ridiculous and will affect Indian badminton.
"It is ridiculous. Life ban is too much. Whatever delay happened in the match, I don't think Jwala is the only person who has to suffer for that. It was kind of unfair what happened at the last moment. Naturally, anyone who would have been in her place would have reacted," Rupesh said.
Thomas said: "I don't agree with this recommendation of life ban. I think she is such an experienced player, who has performed consistently over the years. Along with V Diju and Ashwini Ponnappa, she has pulled off so many matches for India and life ban will be too harsh. Even a six-month suspension would also be harsh."
According to insiders, who are in the know of events, it is not about the IBL match only, the recommendation shows BAI's vindictive nature and Jwala has been targetted for her past outburst against the BAI.
Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, she got the support of Clean Sports India on Monday. Its national convenor, B V Papa Rao, told reporters that they were with the player who was being wrongly framed. He said that if at all anyone has to apologise, it ought to be the BAI president for having created this ruckus.
Stating that they would wait and watch before announcing any plan of action, he said that the Association, as also many others like it, was behaving in a highly condemnable autocratic manner. He hoped that wiser counsel would focus on improving the facilities rather than target individuals for no fault of theirs.
Meanwhile, the troubled shuttler has decided to stay mum and would react only after receiving notice seeking her response on the recommendation.