Based on their world rankings, top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu (women’s singles), Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy (men’s singles) and men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were on Thursday selected for the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Thomas and Uber Cups.
The selection committee of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), which met on March 31 via video conferencing, were unanimous in their choice of these players all of whom are inside the top-15 in the world in their categories.
Two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu is ranked world No. 7 and has won two titles—Syed Modi India International and Swiss Open—this year. Sen and Srikanth are No. 9 and 11 and had reached the rostrum at the 2021 BWF World Championships in December. The 20-year-old Sen has been in brilliant form this year too reaching three finals including the German Open and All England and winning the India Open here in January. Srikanth has had two runs till the semi-finals in 2022.
An exception was made for world No. 23 Prannoy, who made the Swiss Open final in March, given his “consistent performances” and wins against top players.
Rankireddy and Shetty are ranked a career-best No. 7 and had also won the India Open here in January.
Other hopefuls will have to go through selection trials, to be held at the KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium here from April 15 to 20, from which probables for the 2024 Paris Olympics will also be chosen.
Players in the top-16 of singles and top-8 in doubles of national rankings, shuttlers between 16 and 50 in world rankings (as of March 29) and the core group selected in November 2019 will be eligible for the trials, which is supposed to select a total of 60 players. The national ranking list is solely based on performances in the Chennai and Hyderabad ranking tournaments held in December 2021. Though former world No. 1 Saina Nehwal has also been invited to attend the six-day meet here, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist has already opted out.
In men’s singles there will be 25 trialists while 20 from women’s singles have been invited to attend. Players like Olympian B Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma, Malvika Bansod, N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa have already confirmed entries.
The Commonwealth Games (CWG) will be in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8, the Asian Games in Hangzhou from September 10-25 and the Thomas (men) and Uber (women) Cups in Bangkok (World Team Championships) from May 8-15. While the CWG squad will consist of 10 members, the Asian Games and Thomas and Uber Cup contingents will have 20 players each. Men and women will be divided equally.