Wanted to continue coaching Chirag-Satwik, but received no reply: Boe


Former doubles coach Mathias Boe has said that he’s “surprised” that his “detailed proposal” to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) suggesting how he could continue working with the Indian men’s doubles teams on a part-time basis was ignored. Boe, who coached India’s top men’s doubles team of Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy into this year’s Tokyo Olympics had his contract running out after the Games. The world No 11 pair have since been largely on their own, and go into two major tournaments – BWF World Tour Finals and World Championships, over the next three weeks, without a full-time coach.

“I put in a request with BAI immediately after the Olympics telling them what I had in mind,” Boe, who is in Dubai with his parents currently, told ESPN, “Since I needed to keep aside some time to see my family I suggested a part-time solution. I sent across a detailed plan of what was possible, which weeks I could be in Hyderabad to coach, which weeks I could travel for tournaments, including the Sudirman Cup, Europe swing, Indonesia and World Championships but I didn’t hear back. I didn’t even receive an acknowledgement for my application saying that they would look into it or something. I didn’t hear anything.”

In addition to Chirag-Satwik, the former world No 1 in men’s doubles, Boe had also worked with the young, emerging pairs of Dhruv Kapila-MR Arjun and Krishna Prasad-Vishnu Vardhan during his India stint. Boe and Shetty go back a few years, getting to know each other through Premier Badminton League and the Mumbai player seeking him out for training sessions whenever the latter was visiting before the Dane officially took charge as coach in March this year.

Boe, who retired only a year ago, brought a certain tactical nous to his role, with a smart understanding of the current field of players, many of whom he’d played against.

“I’m a little surprised honestly with the lack of response. It makes you wonder if you’re being taken for granted. I had even suggested that we could work on a short-term basis and if they wanted to look at someone else for a longer term that was alright with me too. It’s a little sad that the contracts don’t go from Olympics to Olympics and players have now gone for four months without a coach. It does hurt the boys a lot.”

Shetty concurs on the urgency to have a coach to turn to during matches. Former coach Kim Tan Her’s name has been doing the rounds over a possible return. “It’s been kind of difficult because we haven’t had a proper doubles coach since Mathias,” Shetty told ESPN, “On court you’re always looking for assistance and advice during critical moments. In the French Open quarterfinals couple of weeks ago which we lost for instance, in the third game it was close, when we were 15-13 up the Malaysians started to rush for our soft pushes. They weren’t doing it before. At that moment it can be hard sometimes to strategies. If we had a coach telling us that ‘OK now they are rushing you need to change your tactics’, maybe the result would have been different. Hopefully someone will be hired by January. We really need a coach.”

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