India has issued visas to the six-member Pakistan badminton team, which will be leaving for Delhi on Saturday to participate in the Asian Badminton Championship.

The team will travel to India via Wagah border in Lahore.

The Asian Badminton Championship is being played from April 12 to 18 in Indian capital Delhi.

Wajid Ali will captain Pakistan team, while Umar Zeeshan, Kashif Sulehri, Rizwan Azam, Sara Khan and Palwasha Bashir are members of the Pak team, The News reported.

The Pakistan badminton Federation did not hold training camp for the preparations of the championship and the players practiced individually in their own cities, it said.

No manager or coach has been appointed for the team as only a six-man squad can take part in the event.

However, Wajid Ali will also perform the duties of manager and coach besides captaining the badminton team.
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Despite producing humiliating results in the 11th South Asian Games, the Pakistan Badminton Federation (PBF) has selected two overage players for the Asian Badminton Championship which would be held at New Delhi, India from April 12 to 18, The Nation reported.

A source inside the PBF told the paper that after dismal show in the 11th South Asian Games 2010, which held at Dhaka, Bangladesh January this year, the PBF selected the two overage players including Wajid Ali and Umer Zeeshan. Green shirts failed to win a single gold or silver medal in the eight-nation sports event. Pakistan bagged three bronzes in two individual and one team fixture.

He revealed that the team coach and manager submitted a joint report to the minister of sports in which they hinted out that the players were overage and not able to perform well at the South Asian level. “The PBF almost selected the same men and women for the Asian Badminton Championship 2010 that show that the report of manager and coach has been turned down by the PBF’s officials,” he said.

He said that the minister of sports was also silent on the issue. “The Ministry did not take any action on the blew the par performance of national male and female players in the regional sports event. It is important to mention here that the manager/coach report was submitted on February 19, 2010 soon after the conclusion of the 11th South Asian Games,” he added.

“Wajid Ali, Rizwan Azam and Kashif Ali Sulehri were the part of the South Asian Games squad. Palwasha Bashir and Sara Khan represented Pakistan in the women’s badminton competitions. All these five players are the part of national contingent which will leave for India via Wagah Border on Saturday (tomorrow) to participate in the Asian Badminton Championships,” he said.

“The federation selected Wajid 28 and Umer Zeeshan 31 in the team instead of giving chance to upcoming players. It is worthy to reveal here that the winner of the All England Badminton Open Championship 2010 is just 20 years old. Kene Ci Tabo from Japan had won the prestigious badminton event of world in March this year 2010 but the PBF is not introducing young blood in international circuit,” he said.

He also said that the disciplinary committee had recommended to take action against Umer Zeeshan during the South Asian Games camp here at the Pakistan Sports Complex. “Wajid Ali Chaudhry, Umer Zeeshan, Rizwan Azam, and Kashif Sulehri have been selected for men’s competitions while Palwasha Bashir and Sara Khan for women’s fixture,” he added.

Senior vice president PBF Naqi Mohsin told TheNation that Wajid Ali was the top national player and he could not be neglected from national squad. “However, the federation has called explanation from Umer Zeeshan and action is being taken according to the procedure,” he said. Responding to a question, he said the PBF was going to hire the services of a foreign coach from China to groom the young talent. “At the moment, there is big gap between the younger lot and current senior players. We cannot neglect the seniors. Manager and coach report is not a last authority,” he added.