Star India shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has pulled out of the China Open Superseries due to a niggle but will be back in action after a week's rest at the Hong Kong Super Series where he will have the chance to reach the World No. 1 ranking. Srikanth, currently the second-ranked men's singles player, decided to take a week's rest after aggravating a leg injury during the Senior National Badminton Championships in Nagpur. "I am pulling out of China Open (November 14-19). It is a muscle strain and a doctor advised me to take rest for one week. It happened in the Nationals but because I kept playing it got a little worse. But I should be ok in a week," Srikanth told PTI today.
The Badminton Association of India (BAI), however, said that it was just a coincidence that Srikanth sustained the injury at the Nationals, the dates for which were pre-fixed in consultation with all the top shuttlers of the country.
"I think it is wrong to say Nationals were responsible for his injury and it is wrongly timed," BAI secretary general Anup Narang said.
"The dates were decided in consultation with the top players and they willingly participated in the event. In fact, if not Nationals, many players would have played at the Macau Open," he said.
"There has been no major injuries to any player. Srikanth has a mild injury which will be corrected with a week's rest. So he would be playing in Hong Kong, where he will have the opportunity to reach no. 1 ranking."
The BAI official said the National Championship is an integral part of the annual calendar and the federation will continue to organise the event in consultation with the players.
"The Nationals have been very well managed. It is very important to conduct the Nationals. We will keep organising it in consultation with the players, according to their comfort. If it is not done the next crop of players will not come up. It is an important event for the growth of Indian badminton," Narang said.
Srikanth, who lost to H S Prannoy in the final of the National Championship, has been playing non-stop badminton since October 18.