BAI has urged the minister to talk to agriculture minister Narendar Singh Tomar in order to get clearance for the import of shuttles from China.
It may be mentioned here that international as well as budding shuttlers are running out of shuttles as there is a ban on the import of Yonex shuttles from China. More than 95% of the shuttles are manufactured in China even though Yonex is not a Chinese company.
Following the ban on Chinese products, it is learnt that Indian chief coach Pullela Gopichand has purchased all the available tubes from various sources.
Meanwhile, Gopichand said that with the stock available, they can conduct the national camp only for a few weeks. “If this situation continues, we have to shut down the camp in a few weeks,” he said.
Gopi was all for domestic production, but it is difficult to produce these shuttles in India as they are made from goose feathers. Gopi also feels that a synthetic shuttle should be introduced as soon as possible. Badminton World Federation (BWF) is planning to use synthetic shuttles in the near future.
“How long can we depend on imports? We have to ramp up domestic production. The best option is to use synthetic shuttles. The world body is expected to introduce synthetic shuttles in the future. If synthetic shuttles are available, we don’t have to depend on imports, we can produce them here,” Gopichand said.
Given the situation, Yonex has written to BAI, expressing their inability to supply shuttles. BAI has a contract with Yonex.
Yonex said that they are unable to supply feather shuttles to the academies, association and tournaments, and all players participating in the international tournaments.
Concerned with the situation, BAI wrote to Rijiju asking him to take up the situation with the issue with the agriculture minister.
“It’s a worrisome situation. Our stocks are plummeting. We have to resolve the situation as soon as possible. A decision has to be taken at a higher level that is why we sought the intervention of the sports minister. We requested him to take up the situation with the agriculture minister,” a BAI source said.