India's domestic badminton season set to resume in April 

Domestic tournaments may serve as tune up for the India Open, which begins in New Delhi on May 11

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

The Badminton Association of India (BAI), in its Executive Committee Meeting held in Guwahati on Saturday, decided to restart domestic action with two senior ranking meets in April.

The decision was taken keeping in mind the India Open, which is scheduled to take place in New Delhi from May 11, where premier shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will look to book their Tokyo Olympics berth.

The meeting took place in the presence of all the affiliated state unit members, who had joined virtually. The venue for the tournaments in April, however, is yet to be decided. The events will fall under a new tournament structure with the senior level comprising of Level 1, 2 & 3 along with 12 tournaments in a year.

There is, however, no change in the junior level. BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania is optimistic about conducting domestic tournaments after the India Open as well despite the restrictions due to coronavirus.

"It's been a long time. We are really hopeful about getting things started. Let's see how the coronavirus situation is then (April). When we get the chance to conduct the tournament, we'll get a fair idea of how to go about things. Then we have the India Open. After that, we will continue to conduct other domestic meets," Singhania, who was part of the meeting told the New Indian Express.

The two tournaments that have been proposed for April are Level 3 tournaments. This level carries a prize purse of Rs 10 lakh while Senior national championships falls under Level 1 category and carries a prize purse of Rs 50 lakh.

According to BAI, the April meets will feature both qualifying and main draw. There is no entry restriction in the qualifying draws and a total of 32 players in singles and 16 doubles pairs can earn main draw spots through qualifiers.

The main draw will comprise of 64 singles and 32 doubles pairs. Furthermore, BAI has also decided to resume national camps for seniors and juniors from April onwards.