Parupalli Kashyap has called the latest BWF World Tour postponement "unfair" ©Getty Images

Badminton player Parupalli Kashyap has called the postponement of the India Open "unfair and upsetting" with the tournament now not counting towards qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

India's former men's singles world number one Srikanth Kidambi and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, Kashyap's wife, could miss out on qualifying for the Games due to the postponement.

Yesterday, the Badminton World Federation announced the delay to the competition in New Delhi due to increasing COVID-19 cases in the Indian capital.

New Delhi went into a six-day lockdown the same night.

The India Open was set to be among the final Olympic qualification tournaments between May 11 and 16 but now players like Kidambi and Nehwal need to earn ranking points from just two competitions - the Malaysia Open and the Singapore Open.

Kashyap has been offering courtside coaching to his wife Nehwal who is looking to make her fourth straight Olympics, and was critical of the qualification situation.

"When three tournaments were left we were calculating that perhaps a couple of quarter-finals should give her (Nehwal) a good chance," said Kashyap, according to ESPN.

"Now one's gone and we aren't sure if the remaining two will happen at all.

"It just seems unfair at this point for the Olympics to stick to schedule when qualification events aren't taking place.

"You can't just brush aside these athletes and say they don't matter.

"The world is going through so much at this point.

"During training, our strength and conditioning coach heard of his uncle passing away [due to COVID-19] after being unable to find a ventilator bed.

"You end up asking yourself 'how do tournaments or anything else matter right now?' but in the next breath you're also pushing yourself to stay motivated."

Kidambi made the final of the men's singles at the India Open in 2019 and again fancied a strong performance in New Delhi, but is unsure where he stands with the latest postponement.

Srikanth Kidambi must make up four spots to ensure qualification for the Olympics ©Getty Images
Srikanth Kidambi must make up four spots to ensure qualification for the Olympics ©Getty Images

"I don't know what's in store anymore," he said.

"Ideally, the Olympics should have been originally scheduled for the end of this year, so there's enough time for qualification events.

"Personally, I think whatever is playing out now is a little unfair.

"It's still not over for me, though.

"If I can manage a semi-final finish in Malaysia and a quarter-final in Singapore, that'll be good for my qualification chances.

"Of course, that's assuming these competitions will take place at all."

Kidambi must make the top 16 in the rankings to confirm his spot at Tokyo 2020, with India only allowed a maximum of two players within this bracket.

He is the second-ranked Indian in 20th behind Praneeth Sai in 13th.

Nehwal is currently 22nd, but must make the top 16 too as compatriot PV Sindhu is ranked seventh.

Tokyo 2020 is now due to begin on July 23 after being pushed back a year due to COVID-19.

The Malaysia Open is planned for between May 25 and 30 in Kuala Lumpur and the Singapore Open, the last qualifying event, is scheduled for June 1 to 6.