On Monday, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced that they would increase the prize money of the Senior National Championships to Rs 1 crore, in a bid to attract the top players.
“We will be increasing the prize money close to 1 crore from this year and the players will be getting prize money from the pre-quarters stage,” said BAI President Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma.
He also confirmed participation of top players including PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth for the upcoming national championships in Nagpur from November 1 to November7.
The players were assured of international standard playing conditions, which was a major concern for them.
“We want to transform national championship into a brand. We already have a brand in PBL and we want our premier domestic tournament also to become a huge hit amongst the fans. We hope to transform the National Championship from this year,” said the BAI president.
The BAI has also decided to bestow an annual Lifetime Achievement Awards to legends of the game. This player to be the recipient of the award will be Prakash Padukone.
Padukone is the only Indian male player to reach World No 1 ranking and will be awarded with a cash award of Rs10 lakh and a citation.
“This is for the first time that BAI has come up with such Award as it is time we recognize the immense contribution of these stalwarts towards the growth of badminton in the country. And no other name would have been apt but Prakash Padukone, to confer the first award. A grand ceremony will be organized in Delhi soon to felicitate Mr.Padukone,” said Dr Sarma.