India could host four international badminton tourneys next year

Going by what Prakash Padukone said on Tuesday, India could become the first country in the badminton world to have four international tournaments from the next year.

“Pullela Gopichand is planning a tournament ($6,000 International Series) next year in Hyderabad. That would be in addition to the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, India Open Superseries and the India International Challenge,” Padukone said here on the eve of the eighth Tata Open India International Challenge, a $15,000 prize money tournament.

The calendar for international badminton in India has been affected a little with the rescheduling of the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships, a Grand Prix Gold event, from the regular year-end to start of the year from last season.

As a result, some of the top players who could play in Tata Open and Syed Modi in Lucknow in back-to-back weeks, have to think twice about participating in both.

Padukone said: “From next year, there will be three back-to-back tournaments in Mumbai (November 22-27), Hyderabad (December 1-4) and Dhaka (December 6-10). This will enhance the status of the Mumbai tournament. Once a player comes out, he/she will b able to play all three tournaments at a stretch,” said Padukone.

The 60-year-old Padukone also said that even if India wanted to host more international tournaments, there’s no provision by Badminton World Federation. “When we will have four international tournaments next year, India would perhaps be the first country in the world to have four such tournaments. Not even Indonesia, not even China have that many tournaments,” he said.

As per the BWF calendar for 2016, India will host the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow from January 26-31, the India Open Superseries in New Delhi from March 29 to April 3 besides the Mumbai and Hyderabad tournaments in November-December.

Meanwhile, more than 200 shuttlers from at least nine countries will participate in this year’s tournament at the Nowroji Saklatwala badminton courts of the Cricket Club of India.