Senior National Badminton Championship on Thursday saw a major controversy as the defending champion Saina Nehwal refused to take part in the match due to the poor court conditions.

Olympic bronze medalist Saina was scheduled to play at Guwahati against Shruti Mundada in a pre-quarterfinal clash but declined to take the court after having a look at the surface which caused men’s player Sameer Verma an Achilles heels problem.

Saina arrived just after Sameer’s departure and made it clear that she won’t risk playing on the same ground with the All England Championship around the corner.

The officials of Badminton Association of India led by Omar Rashid swung into action immediately and convinced Saina, Kashyap and Sai Praneeth to play in the evening.

“The wooden planks came out of place after PV Sindhu played her match. So they are going to fix it now. We will come back in the evening to our pre-quarterfinal matches”, Parupalli Kashyap, Saina’s newly wedded husband said.

The ongoing championship is being played on three courts in the Assam Badminton Academy. Kashyap who played the men’s singles pre-quarterfinal match and PV Sindhu also completed the match on the same court in the morning.