Five days before her birthday, Malvika Bansod got the perfect gift when the talented city shuttler was selected in the Indian badminton team for the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup.
Southpaw Malvika, who will turn 19 on September 15, will represent the country in the Uber Cup slated to be held at Aarhus in Denmark from October 3 to 11.
Teenage sensation Malvika became the third City player after Arundhati Pantawane (China, 2012) and Vaishnavi Bhale (May 2018 in Bangkok) to get a chance to compete in the Uber Cup, which will mark the restart of the Badminton World Federation’s international tournaments after nearly seven months.
Malvika is part of the ten-member Indian women’s side which also features Indian badminton queens PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.
The ace city shuttler has made it to the national squad on the basis of her India No.2 ranking in the women’s singles. India No. 1 ranked, according to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) rankings, Aakarshi Kashyap is another singles player who made the cut. Both Malvika and Aakarshi represent the Airport Authority of India (AAI) in the domestic tournaments.
Four singles and three doubles pairs have been selected by BAI in both men’s and women’s teams.
“I am really thrilled to get this news just a few days before my birthday. Representing the country in the Uber Cup is a great achievement. I am part of the team which has Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. It’s a very proud moment for me. Certainly, it is one of the happiest days of my life,” said Malvika.
Malvika, who was scheduled to participate in the national camp from September 7 at the SAI-Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad, is still in Nagpur as the camp has been canceled.
With the standard protocol and 7-day of mandatory quarantine not ending before September 17, which was the initially scheduled date of team selection for the Thomas and Uber Cup, it was decided to cancel the preparatory camp and the Indian team selection was conducted by the six-member selection committee on Thursday.
“After a lot of deliberations and multi-label meetings with all stakeholders including Sports Authority of India, we have decided to cancel the camp. With the SOP implemented and quarantine procedures followed, there will not be enough time to conduct a camp and hence it was a decision taken in consultation with the five selectors and the national coach. We have also selected a team that will be representing India at the Thomas & Uber Cup as well as the other two tournaments to be played in Denmark,” said BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania.
Uber Cup: PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod, Ashwini Ponnappa, N Sikki Reddy, Pooja Dandu, Sanjana Santosh, Poorvisha S. Ram, Jakkampudi Meghana.
Thomas Cup: Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, Lakshya Sen, Subhankar Dey, Siril Verma, Manu Attri, B Sumeeth Reddy, MR Arjun, Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garaga.
Denmark Open and Denmark Masters: Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal, Lakshya Sen, Ashwini Ponnappa, PV Sindhu, N Sikki Reddy.