New Delhi [India], Jan 28 (ANI): Secretary General of Badminton Association of India (BAI) Anoop Narang has insisted London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal to play the Asia Team Championship, saying that the Uber Cup qualifier is a matter of national pride and the association wants to field their best shuttlers for it.
Nehwal had earlier written a letter to the BAI to allow her to skip next month's Asia Championship to prepare for the All England Championship.
The Asia Team Championship serves as a qualification for the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cups Finals to be held at Bangkok from May 20.
Narang told ANI, "BAI is a body which is keen to ensure Indian national teams do well in official team championships as well. Uber Cup qualifier is a critically important tournament as well and I hope that Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Ashwini Ponnappa and all these girls go and play there because of this a matter of national pride."
He informed that the association has asked Nehwal to redesign her training program for the All England, stating, "Even after the Asia Cup, she will again get one month before the All England begins".
The All England Championship will be held at Birmingham from March 14.
"Uber Cup is the World Team Championship. It is a matter of pride. It is like Davis Cup in tennis. Only three teams from Asia qualify for this and Asia has the top teams in women's section as we have China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand. And it is imperative that we must put our best foot forward", Narang added.
In the 2014 and 2016 edition of the Uber Cup, Indian women's team has reached the semifinals.