The Badminton Association of India on Friday recommended K Srikanth for the Khel Ratna award, following the player’s apology to the federation for his conduct during the Asian Team Championships in Philippines earlier this year.
The BAI has also given HS Prannoy 15 days to respond to his misconduct issue.
As reported by Scroll.in, the two former top-10 players were not recommended for the national sports awards in 2020 because of their decision to leave the team event earlier this year to participate in Barcelona Spain Masters.
The duo did not play in the semi-final against Indonesia as they left for Barcelona before the team event in Manila ended. India bagged a bronze medal, after losing 3-2 to Indonesia in the semi-final, where Lakshya Sen and Subhankar Dey beat higher-ranked players, but the team paid for defeats in the other three matches, including the first singles tie.
“Prannoy and former world No 1 Srikanth had left the squad at Asian Badminton Championship in Manila in February, despite advice not to leave, which put India’s chances of winning the historic medal at the championship in lurch,” a press release by BAI stated.
It led BAI not to recommend either of them on disciplinary grounds during this year’s National Sports Awards. However, Srikanth has now issued an unconditional apology, the federation said.
“We have received an email from Srikanth in which he has accepted the mistake and he has also promised to not indulge in such activities in the future. Considering the talent of Srikanth and his accomplishments, we have decided to recommend his name for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award,” BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania said.
With BAI preparing a code of conduct for players and officials, Prannoy has been issued a showcause notice. The shuttler had slammed the federation earlier in June, questioning the decision to recommend Sameer Verma instead of him for Arjuna Award.
“#arjunaawards Same Old Story. Guy Who Has Medals In Cwg And Asian Championships Not Even Recommended By Association. And Guy Who Was Not There On Any Of These Major Events Recommended #waah #thiscountryisajoke,” he had said in a tweet that has since been deleted.
“There are several instances of disciplinary issues with Prannoy. The federation had been very tolerant all this while but in the recent past his attitude has forced BAI to take action and also relook at the disciplinary policies. A show-cause letter has been issued for the remarks he made. If the player fails to respond in the allotted time, BAI will be taking stern action against the shuttler,” Singhania added.