Saina Nehwal rues lack of badminton academies and coaches in India

News Agencies | First published: 31 October 2016, 17:16 IST
Saina Nehwal
File Photo/AFP

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal said India has adequate infrastructure for badminton but don't have enough coaches and academies.

"There is no problem on infrastructure front, but what we don't have enough number of academies and coaches, like the Chinese have," she said.

Saina has been practising here after recovering from a knee injury which had affected her progress at Rio Olympics. She had lost her second group match against Ukraine's Maria Ulitina to crash out of the mega event.

"India should at least have 20 to 30 coaches in major cities of the country. Unfortunately, though we have at the most two to three coaches," said the 26-year-old, who is eyeing a comeback at the China Super Series Premier (November 15-20) and Hong Kong Open Super Series (November 22-27).

"What we don't have enough is the number of players and academies. If you see China, there are 30,000 to 40,000 players in cities there. They have four to five coaches for every event and that is how they produce champions.

"You can never underestimate China because they can anytime produce champions. It is very easy for them because they have number of players and coaches with them," she added.

Saina said other associations including the Badminton Association of India (BAI) are working on making their sports as big as cricket, which the BCCI did wonderfully well.