Reigning national champion Sourabh Verma has appealed for financial help, which will enable him to play more international tournaments in order to improve his current world ranking.
The 26-year-old had burst into the scene with his first senior national title in 2011 but over training led to frequent break downs, which stopped him from playing tournaments consistently.
It affected his ranking as from a career-best ranking of 30 in 2012 he now finds himself at 55.
“I don’t have financial support to play international tournaments. Now due to the new rule, only top 25 players are getting financial help from BAI. That led to my international exposure being reduced and hence my ranking slipped,” Verma lamented during an interaction.
He said that BAI did sponsor him for the Dutch Open but he needs more funding.
Of course, Dutch was financed by BAI after my performance in two domestic events but if I get financial support, I can do well,” he said.
“I need to play at least 10-12 tournaments to get more ranking points. I had a knee problem last year, which I had to take care by myself. I am playing tournaments on my own. As a player, it becomes a big burden if you have to manage all by yourself,” he said.
Verma said that he had to even pay for all his travel arrangements for his next two tournaments — Swiss Open and Orleans Open.
Last year, Sourabh recovered from a shoulder injury to win two Super 100 titles at the Russia Open and Dutch Open and clinched his third Senior National title at Guwahati last week.
Sourabh had clinched his maiden international title at Bahrain International Challenge in 2013, before claiming the TATA Open.
The Madhya Pradesh shuttler stitched a string of title wins at Iran Fajr and Austrian International, besides a runners-up at Malaysia Masters GPG in 2014.
Despite the injury setbacks, he had a good year in 2016, when he won the Chinese Taipei Masters, besides securing runners-up finishes at Bitburger Open, Polish International and Belgian International.
He also claimed his second senior nationals in 2017, beating Lakshya Sen in the finals.