Friday, June 14, 2024
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Indian Badminton league launches with local icons

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Mumbai: Five Indian players, including Olympic Games bronze medalist Saina Nehwal, were announced as the icon players of five of the six city-based franchise outfits in the USD 1 million prize money Indian Badminton League (IBL), to be held next year.

Apart from Saina, whose base price has been fixed at USD 50,000, London Games men’s singles quarter finalist Parupalli Kashyap, world bronze medal winning women’s pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa and up-and-coming P V Sindhu were named as the team icons at the launch of the cash-rich League here.

The IBL, which is a joint initiative of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and its commercial partner Sporty Solutionz Private Ltd, is to be held in six cities across the country from June 24 to July 11, 2013, and has the blessings of the world body, BWF, which has provided it a clear window in the annual calendar, organisers said.

Eight cities – Delhi, Nagpur, Pune, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore – have been shortlisted for the city-based franchises and six of them would be up for open sales in the first year with Rs 3.5 crore as the base price.

Each team will have the liberty to have up to four foreign players with two available to play in the best-of-five ties on the format of the Sudirman Cup world team championships.

“Malaysia has already confirmed to send all its players (including Olympic silver medal winner Lee Chong Wei). The BAI has already approached the Chinese authorities,” said Sporty Solutionz CEO Ashish Chadha at the media conference.

Asked why someone like Wei would accept a base price of USD 25,000, when Kashyap was getting at least double that as his fees, Chadha said the Malaysian star and all others would be put up for the players’ auction. (PTI)

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