The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has announced that they will bestow Lifetime Achievement Awards annually to the greats of the game . And to begin with it has named Indian badminton icon Prakash Padukone as the first recipient .
According to media reports, arguably India’ greatest ever player Padukone, who is the only Indian male player to reach the world No 1 ranking, will be awarded a cash award of R10 lakh and a citation.
The announcement was made by BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma on the sidelines of the BWF World Senior Championships in Kochi.
“This is the first time that BAI has come up with such an award as it is time we recognise the immense contribution of these stalwarts towards the growth of badminton in the country. No other name would have been apt but Prakash Padukone’s to confer the first award. A grand ceremony will be organised in New Delhi soon to felicitate him,” Sarma said.
It was also announced that there will be a significant rise in the prize money of National Championships, and close to Rs.1 crore will be doled out this year onwards.
“We will be increasing the prize money to nearly Rs.1 crore from this year and the players will get prize money from the pre-quarters stage onwards,” said Sarma.
He also confirmed participation of top players, including PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth in the Nationals. The Nationals will be held in Nagpur from November 1 to 7.