Kidambi Srikanth slammed the chair officials after being called for a series of “ridiculous” service faults as per the revamped BWF rules in his shock 11-21, 21-15, 20-22 loss to unseeded Chinese Huang Yuxiang at the All England Championship on Thursday.

“There were too many service faults in the opening game. I didn’t expect that to happen. Yesterday I didn’t get even one, today it was totally changed. That should not happen in a tournament,” Srikanth said after the match.

“There should be a specific rule. The umpire couldn’t find faults yesterday but today the umpire sitting there found too many faults. It is ridiculous,” he added.

The Badminton World Federation is trying out a fixed service rule in all top tournaments from march this year. According to the law: “The whole shuttle shall be below 1.15 metres from the surface of the court at the instant of being hit by the server’s racquet.”

To assess the services, a pole has been set up in front of the service judge with two glass panels, fixed atop either side of the pole. There are two dark lines drawn on either side of the glass panels at a height of 1.15 metres from the court level, and judges make their calls looking at the lines when a player serves, which makes it prone to human error.

It was first introduced at the German Open early this month and was criticised by India’s N Sikki Reddy, who posted a video on Twitter of the controversial calls made by the service judge using the new rule.

“This is how BWF and service judges have been playing with our career. Looks like they don’t really care about our years of struggle and hard work to achieve our goals. (Not even 1 out of 100 will agree that these are fault serves),” Sikki tweeted after she and her mixed doubles partner Pranaav Chopra lost to the Thai pairing of Tinn Isriyanet and Pacharapun Chochuwong in the pre-quarterfinals.

India’s rising doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were also on the verge of pulling off an upset win over second seeded Danes Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen but a few service faults in crucial moment saw them lose 16-21, 21-16, 21-23 in an hour and three minutes.

“It was unfortunate that we got faulted every 2-3 points in the end of the third game, it was crucial times and we were really unlucky,” Shetty said.

The service rule has been lambasted by all top players, including PV Sindhu, Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, Viktor Axelsen and prominent coaches such as India’s P Gopichand and Denmark’s Kenneth Jonassen, who described it “discriminating against tall players”.

Five-time world champion Lin Dan had earlier blasted BWF for the new rule. “I have played competitively for over 10 years and also trained for 30 years as a badminton player, and suddenly BWF want to teach everyone how to serve,” he had said at the German Open.

“What is the purpose of this new service rule? Frankly, I think BWF is trying to imitate tennis but they have failed so far. BWF should have had the courtesy to get feedback from shuttlers and coaches first before coming up with a new service rule,” he had said.

With inputs from PTI