Badminton | Sindhu pulls out of Uber Cup, full-strength squad for men’s Thomas Cup

Doubles pairs of Ashwani-Tanisha and Treesa-Gayatri also skip the event, Prannoy to lead men’s challenge as they aim to defend their title

April 04, 2024 06:47 pm | Updated 06:47 pm IST - New Delhi

The Indian men’s team will look to defend the Thomas Cup title that it won in 2022.

The Indian men’s team will look to defend the Thomas Cup title that it won in 2022. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

While defending champion India will be at full-strength at the upcoming men’s Thomas Cup Finals, the Uber Cup for women will largely see a young, inexperienced side with top players in both singles and doubles, including P.V. Sindhu, pulling out of the competition ahead of the Paris Olympics.

The 10-member team for Thomas Cup will be led by H.S. Prannoy with Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Priyanshu Rajawat and Kiran George in the singles. The World No. 1 pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will spearhead the challenge in the doubles, along with M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila with Sai Pratheek as the back-up doubles player as India looks to retain the crown it won for the first-time ever in 2022.

For the Uber Cup, the selectors decided to give an opportunity to youngsters after top players in both singles and doubles pulled out. The Badminton Association of India said that Sindhu had cited back-to-back tournaments in the run-up to the Paris Olympics as reason to skip in her communication to the selectors. The second-highest ranked Indian player, Aakarshi Kashyap, is also not part of the squad.

The top-ranked Indian doubles pairs of Ashwini Ponnappa-Tanisha Crasto and Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand cited similar reasons for the pull-out, forcing the BAI to name a second-string side of youngsters led by the impressive Anmol Kharb and Ashmita Chaliha in singles.

The decision was taken after an online meeting of the selection committee including chief coach P. Gopi Chand, U. Vimal Kumar, Jwala Gutta, Manjusha Kanwar, Partho Ganguly and Mallika Baruah Sarma.

“The senior selection committee has decided to send the best possible combination for the Thomas Cup to defend the title. We needed to have an additional player in the singles and doubles in case somebody is not fully fit or needs recovery,” BAI general secretary Sanjay Mishra said.

The Thomas and Uber Cups will be played in Chengdu, China from April 27-May 5.

The squads: Thomas Cup: Singles: H.S. Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Priyanshu Rajawat, Kiran George. Doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, MR Arjun, Dhruv Kapila, Sai Pratheek

Uber Cup: Singles: Anmol Kharb, Tanvi Sharma, Ashmita Chaliha, Isharani Baruah. Doubles: Shruti Mishra, Priya Konjengbam, Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker.

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