He is closing 60 but his feet can still give a 20-year-old shuttler a run for his money. Hundreds of young shuttlers queued outside the Cricket Club of India on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Prakash Padukone in action. The badminton legend played a seven-point exhibition match.
Speaking on the eve of the sixth Tata Open India International Challenge, Padukone said that Mumbai shuttler Ajay Jayaram, who trains in Bangalore, is capable of a better show. “He (Jayaram) should put in a little more effort. Not only him, but also players like Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap,” he said.
The 58-year-was all praise for PV Sindhu, who recently won her second Grand Prix Gold title.“She has the qualities of being a champion. She is a world class player in the making,” he said.
Padukone felt that the Indian Badminton League will stay if conducted properly. “I think being the inaugural year, it picked up well and added to the viewership of badminton. It will stay if conducted properly. But there is a need of an experienced governing council in order to avoid issues that rocked the league this year.”
Padukone also felt that “every Indian player should be allowed to play in international tournaments” in reaction to the Badminton Association of India withdrawing the entries of Jwala Gutta and her doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa from Denmark Open. The Gutta-Ponnappa pair will be seen in action in this tournament besides other promising ones.