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‘This country is a joke’: HS Prannoy slams Arjuna Award selection

After being ignored last year for the same award, Prannoy had even questioned the selection criteria.

SNS | New Delhi |

Disappointed at not being nominated for the Arjuna award for the second year in a row, Indian shuttler HS Prannoy has said that players who are less accomplished than him and have fewer wins at prestigious tournaments around the world have been recommended by the Badminton Association of India (BAI).

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Tuesday recommended the top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and men’s single-player Sameer Verma for the esteemed award.

Prannoy took to microblogging site Twitter to express his disappointment after missing out on the award yet again.

#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,” Prannoy wrote.

While the doubles pair of Satwik-Chirag has a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games to their credit, Sameer has never featured in the distinguished event.  The 25-year-old from Madhya Pradesh did not even have a terrific run last year. However, he did manage to win three titles in 2018 after reaching the finals of the Hong Kong Open in 2016 and reached a career-best ranking of world number 11.

On the other hand, Prannoy has had a good run in 2018 where he was part of the Gold medal-winning Indian mixed team at the Commonwealth Games for the first time. He even had bronze to his credit at the Wuhan Asian Championships and achieved a career-best ranking of world number 8 in May, 2018.

In 2017, Prannoy had won matches against former world number 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and even the reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China in successive matches in the Indonesian Open. He even managed to reach the finals of the US Open that very year.

Parannoy has received some kind of support from former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap.

“Never actually understood the system of applying for an award. I hope this changes. Be strong bro,” Kashyap tweeted.

After being ignored last year for the same award, Prannoy had even questioned the selection criteria. He even said that knowing people who can push a nomination is perhaps more important than performances on the court.

“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,” he had tweeted last year.