'If you ever want your name in the Awards list, make sure you have people who will get your name to the list. Performance is least considered in our country.'
Star shuttler HS Prannoy on Saturday questioned the criteria for Arjuna Award selection, saying knowing people who can push a nomination is more important than performances on court.
B Sai Praneeth was nominated for the Arjuna Award from among the badminton players. Doubles player Manu Attri, who was also recommended by the Badminton Association of India, was left out by the 12-member selection panel.
"If you ever want your name in the Awards list, make sure you have people who will get your name to the list. Performance is least considered in our country. Sad state of our county but can't help it. Let go and just play until you can," an angry Prannoy tweeted.
"Ah not enough !! Not up to the mark according to committee," he added.
Interestingly, a BAI source said it did not recommend Prannoy's name for the Arjuna Award to the Sports Ministry on the ground that he did not have any creditable performance last year.
"BAI had recommended Sai Praneeth and Manu Attri for the Arjuna Award. Prannoy had also sent his application but it was not considered since he did not have the performance last year," a BAI source said.
The 27-year-old Prannoy had won a gold in the mixed team event in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He also won a bronze medal in the men's singles in the 2018 Asian Championships. He also won a bronze in the men's team event in the 2016 Asian Team Championships. He climbed to World No 8 in the BWF rankings in May last year.
As per the guidelines, to be eligible for the Arjuna award, a sportsperson should not only have had good performance consistently for the previous four years at the international level with excellence for the year for which the Award is recommended, but should also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.