Press Trust of India
New Delhi, 5 October
In a surprise decision, the Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) disciplinary committee has recommended a life ban on top Indian doubles shuttler Jwala Gutta for trying to stop some players of her franchise Krrish Delhi Smashers from playing a match against Banga Beats in the IBL.
“The disciplinary committee has recommended a life ban or suspension for a certain period of time on Jwala Gutta for her role in the IBL controversy,” a senior BAI official said.
“The recommendation has been circulated to the member associations but no decision has been taken as of now. It has not been implemented.”
S Muralidharan, chairman of BAI’s disciplinary committee, said: “I don’t want to talk about it much. It is the discretion of BAI President Mr Akhilesh Das Gupta and on an unconditional apology, Jwala can be set free. But she should feel apologetic for what happened.”
The BAI president will seek a response from Jwala following committee’s recommendation of the life ban. “The BAI president is writing to Jwala Gutta for her response on the recommendation report,” a well-placed source in the BAI said. “She will have seven days to respond,” he added.
A controversy had erupted during the 25 August tie when Delhi smashers had threatened to pull out against Banga Beats over the last-minute replacement of injured singles player, Hu Yun of Hong Kong with Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen.
As an icon player of Delhi Smashers, Jwala was involved in the whole matter, which was resolved after Beats finally left out Jorgensen and played Arvind Bhat, who was already part of the team. Jwala was then served a 14-day showcause notice by BAI for her conduct during the tie, which was delayed by half an hour.
“Jwala had replied to the notice, saying that ‘it was a decision by the Delhi franchise and not an individual move. Owners asked me to act like that and there is nothing wrong on my part. I have been appointed as an icon player by Delhi and as a captain I acted’,” the BAI official said.
“But the BAI is not satisfied with her reply. Now it is upto Jwala, if she wants to apologise or keep quiet.”
The BAI official said another notice has also been sent to the Delhi franchise by the IBL governing council to explain its stand on the whole issue. “Sporty solution has already sent a similar notice to Delhi team for an explanation and they have not yet send their reply.”