Rebel with a cause: Jwala

Rebel with a cause: Jwala

Rebel With a Cause: Jwala, Badminton Association of India, BAI, Jwala Gutta. Without naming any individual in particular, she and her coach since...

Asserting that none on earth can stop her from playing till the time she calls it a day, doubles specialist Jwala Gutta on Friday said that she had decided to fight the mud-slinging head on because she wanted to set an example to future shuttlers to stand up and fight any possible injustice or victimization they would be subject to. What she meant was that she was a rebel with a cause.
Addressing a crowded press conference at the Lal Bahadur Indoor Stadium, she brimmed with confidence for the ‘moral victory that has come courtesy of the Delhi High Court, which directed the Badminton Association of India (BAI) to allow me and Ashwini Ponnappa to participate in the ensuing Denmark Open.’
Without naming any individual in particular, she and her coach since childhood, S M Arif along with Ponnappa, said that the whole episode smacked of deliberate efforts to victimize her for no faults of hers.
‘I prefer to be out there in the badminton courts rather than any court of law,’ she said while vouching that unless a new system was put in place several players would be denied chances of making the cut, despite being loaded with talent.
‘It is rather ironical that Vimal Kumar has come in my support whereas the IBL organisers had questioned my integrity during our (Delhi Smashers) match with the Bangalore outfit of which he was the mentor-coach,’ she said while thanking everyone, including Prakash Padukone and Clean Sports India for extending moral support in her hour of crisis.
Refusing to be drawn into any controversy, she said that she had called the chief national coach, Pullela Gopichand, who had merely informed that he had no hand in the controversy surrounding her.
She wondered why a life-ban was under consideration when ‘I am not accused of match-fixing, doping, killing anyone or cheating. Something is terribly wrong in the system and this has to be streamlined so that the future hopefuls will be given their fair share of support, encouragement and avenues.’
Arif, reading out parts of the Court ruling, said that people suspected that there were mala-fide intentions behind the entire fracas despite the fact that Jwala had entered the next three important fixtures at her own cost. BAI has dropped her entry from all three, including Japan Open.
They said it was unthinkable a few years back to have talent bursting from only one centre. This was not a good augury for players emerging from the nooks and corner of the country as they would not be able to come over and stay in Hyderabad.
She said that with Ponnappa and V Diju she had raised the bar in women and mixed doubles. She said even as she and Ponnappa begin as the defending champions in next year’s Commonwealth Games, there are also Thomas and Uber Cup that India is hosting.
‘As a combination, we are potential medal prospects and in team events we hold the marginal edge in major outings,’ she said.
Ponnappa regretted that the entire trauma was unbecoming and avoidable in the first place.
Jwala said that her dream is set up an academy and churn out quality players, who would also be educated into the art of survival by braving all corresponding odds.
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