Hyderabad Open, a Super 100 tournament kick-starting the international badminton calendar (August 11-16) according to a revamped BWF schedule, looks highly unlikely to take off given the prevailing situation in the Telangana capital which is under lockdown.
While BWF went ahead to announce 22 tournaments in 5 months from August to December, shuttlers were left scratching their heads about how they were going to resume blitzing around the world in search of points, with international travel being clipped and the virus still raging through swathes of Asia — especially in India. With no clarity on the Olympic qualification process, which couldn’t be completed, after tournaments were cancelled in response to the pandemic, shuttlers are once again left wondering about how to plan the rest of the year.
“It’s straightforward for those playing the Super 1000s, but for those having to choose the next rung, it’s again travel and risking airports – Hyderabad, Taipei, Korea, Thomas Uber Cup in Denmark, and New Zealand a week later. Don’t really know what to think of it,” said Parupalli Kashyap.
The revamped schedule includes 8 rescheduled tournaments with zigzagging travel across three continents, and has cramped in the Thomas Uber Cup and the season-ender into this packed calendar. India hosts three of the 22 meets – Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Delhi. An earlier government stipulation barred Indian athletes from travelling abroad till end of the year.
BWF has attached a rider of safety. “We won’t resume competition unless it is absolutely clear that it is safe to do so.”