The ongoing Badminton Nationals have been thrown into disarray after few quarter-final matches scheduled for yesterday (27) were postponed for today (28), after the organisers had run out of shuttles, the Daily Mirror reliably learns.
Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) President Suraj Dandeniya played down the issue stating that only four quarter-finals had been postponed after the quota of shuttles had run out and that steps had been taken to dispatch replacements in time for the tournament to be continued today (28).
“It’s the Referees’ duty to inform about the situation and on the usage of shuttles. Generally at a tournament, an average of 150 shuttle tubes are used, but they had already used about 250 at this tournament,” he said yesterday. “We have sent replacements and the matches will continue tomorrow without a problem.”
A player, speaking to Daily Mirror on the condition of anonymity, alleged that the facilities were also not up to standard for a tournament of this nature, with the lights at the two venues — the Boyagane Army Camp (Kurunegala) and the Kurunegala Municipal Indoor Stadium — blinking through matches and the floors being slippery.
While not totally refuting these claims, Dandeniya said that if these were not issues for the country’s top players, then it should not be an issue for others.
“These players have not been able to even take a set from the Karunaratnes (Dinuka and Niluka), who have competed in international competitions. I spoke to Dinuka and Niluka and they said they have no complaints. If they don’t have an issue, how can these people afford to complain?” queried Dandeniya rhetorically.
“True the facilities are not as good as those in Colombo and maybe there are a few shortcomings, but it is the national obligation of the SLBA to take the game to the rural areas, and develop the sport. The last three years the tournament has been conducted outside Colombo, and since then there is an increase in the number of junior champions from those areas. Sometimes there are shortcomings in these outstation venues,” he said adding, “What we are trying to do is to take the game to villages for the betterment of the sport.”