The senior national Badminton championship will have a total prize money of Rs 10 million, a 10-fold increase from last year’s tournament, announced Himanta Biswa Sarma, President of the Badminton Association of India on Saturday.

He also mentioned that it will be mandatory for all the top ranked players to participate in the country’s top event. Ushering in a change in the format, Sarma said that those players who are in the World’s top-50, would get a direct entry into pre-quarterfinals, adding the caveat that it will be limited to a maximum of eight slots out of a total of 16.

The BAI president felicitated the junior national team, which is bound for Myanmar for the Asian Badminton Championship, by setting a precedent of handing over the Indian blazer, at the Karnataka Badminton Association, here on Friday.

It also marked the conclusion of a 20-day preparatory camp under the supervision of the junior national coach Sanjay Mishra who will lead a 38-member strong team for the Asian Championship. KBA president BV Srinivas will accompany the team as the manager.

With a focus on building the future of Indian badminton, BAI will concentrate on honing the skills of the junior players. “Most of the times, good talented players drop out of the game due to financial constraints. Hence to support such players, we will be providing a scholarship of Rs 25,000-50,000 per month for about 20 juniors to begin with, and take the number to 100 in a year,” said the BAI supremo while urging the corporate sector to support the cause.

There will be a two-month summer camp across the country, especially for the players who have immense talent but missed out on the opportunities owing to various factors. “Every state association will nominate five players each and there will be four national camps in the summer. National and International coaches will assist the trainees,” said Sarma.

The overage issues will be put to rest by conducting the medical tests on the ‘fringe’ players at the beginning of the season. “We want to erase this over-age issue by conducting the tests well before the season so that no one should undergo the mental trauma during a tournament or a camp. If a player is found overage, we will put him/her in the next category if we think the parents are the culprits rather than the players themselves,” he said.

The Indian team for the Asian Badminton Championships

Boys U-17: Meirab Maisram, Dhruv Rawat, Iman Sonowal, Aakash Yadav, Amit Rathore, Sathish Kumar, Edwin Joy, Arvind V Suresh, Vishnuvardhan Goud, Ishan Bhatnagar, Khush Chug.

Boys U-15: Sidhant Gupta, Ayush Raj Gupta, Punshiba Yengkhom, Jayant Rana, Varun Kapur, Vikas Yadav, Arshad Shaik, Shubham Patel, Sanjeev Rao, Khajamoinuddin Shaik

Girls U-17: Gayatri Gopichand, Akarshi Kashyap, Unnati Bisht, Malvika Bansode, Ritika Thakkar, Samiya Imad Farooqui, Varshini VS, Sahiti Suresh, Kavi Priya, Keyura Mopati

Girls U-15: Sneha Rajwan, Ashi Rawat, Kriti Bhardwaj, Treesa Jolly, Reza Mehreen, Tanya Hemant, Aditi Bhatt