Two-time Commonwealth Games champion Saina Nehwal has been named for next month’s selection trials of Asian Mixed Team Championships, to be held in Dubai from February 14 to 19.
The senior selection committee had a virtual meeting on December 25 to finalise the trials for picking the team for the Asian event.
Based on their superior world rankings, the committee decided to give direct entry to singles players Lakshya Sen, HS Prannoy, PV Sindhu and men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Ranikreddy and Chirag Shetty.
The rest of the 14-member team will be picked in the selection trials, scheduled to be held in Delhi on January 2 and 3.
“The members unanimously agreed that since it is a big competition with limited number of entries, only BWF rankings from 16-50 should be considered for inviting players for the trials for the rest of the available spots,” the BAI said in a letter.
In women’s singles, apart from Saina, Malvika Bansod and Aakarshi Kashyap have been invited for the trials, while in men’s doubles — Arjun/Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garga/Vishnuvardhan Goud P and Ishaan Bhatnagar/Sai Patheek K were named.
For the two spots in women’s doubles, Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Treesa Jolly and Gayatri P Gopichand, Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, Ashwini Bhatt and Shikha Gautam and Haritha Manazhiyil and Ashna Roy were invited.
Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto, Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan and Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy were invited for the trials which will pick the one mixed doubles pair for the event.
Saina, a former world number one, had skipped the selection trials for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in April to manage workload after returning from three weeks of European events.
The BAI asked the state associations to inform the players regarding the trials. “If there is no confirmation from a player/pair to participate in the selection trials, the next best placed player/pair in the BWF Top-16 to 50 on 25th December 2022 to be included in the trials,” the governing body said in a letter to all the affiliated state associations.
The last date to receive confirmation is December 30.