Star shuttler HS Prannoy Saturday expressed his unhappiness after being overlooked for the Arjuna award by claiming that knowing people who can push a nomination is more important than performances on court.

Prannoy’s compatriot B Sai Praneeth was nominated for the Arjuna Award among the badminton contingent. Doubles star Manu Attri and Prannoy – who were also recommended by the Badminton Association of India – were left out by the 12-member selection panel.

“If you ever want your name in the Awards list, make sure you have people who will get your name to the list. Performance is least considered in our country. Sad state of our county but can’t help it. Let go and just play until you can,” an angry Prannoy tweeted. “Ah not enough. Not up to the mark according to committee,” he added.

Interestingly, a BAI official said Prannoy’s recommendation for the Arjuna Award had gone late to the Sports Ministry.

“His [Prannoy’s] recommendation for the Arjuna Award had gone late after the stipulated deadline,” the official was quoted as saying by PTI.

The 27-year-old Prannoy had won a gold in the mixed team event in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He also won a bronze medal in the men’s singles category in the 2018 Asian Championships.

As per guidelines, to be eligible for the Arjuna award, a sportsperson should not only have had good performance consistently for the previous four years at the international level with excellence for the year for which the award is recommended, but should also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.