Three icons for India in PBL auctions
Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal (Image credit-The Indian Express)
Hyderabad: Top players will go under the hammer, when the auctions for the Premier Badminton League (PBL) Season 3 gets undergoing on Monday. More than 100 shutters from across the world are set to participate in the auction.
Newly crowned world number one World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen (Denmark), Women’s World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying (Taiwan) and Rio Olympic gold medalists Carolina Marin (Spain) are some of the top names who have confirmed their participation in the tournament organised by Sportzlive under the ageis of the Badminton Association of India (BAI).
The PBL will be a eight team affair this season and Viktor Axelsen of Denmark,, Son Wan Ho of Korea and Kidambi Srikanth of India among men, meanwhile Tai Tzu, Carolina Marin of Spain, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Sung Ji Hyun of Korea and Tzu Wei Wang of Taiwan have been granted Icon status. Players from as many as 11 countries will partake in the competition.
Interestingly, China is also well represented among the teams this year, with Men’s singles player Tian Houwei confirming his participation in the tournament.
All the available players will go through the auction process, with the six existing teams allowed to invoke their ‘Right to Match’ (RTM) option. Moreover, each team can spend upto a total purse of INR 2.12 crore.
“We are glad to be back with the third season and promise our fans and the players that we will leave no stone unturned to make it bigger and better with each passing year and deliver a world class League,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma, BAI president and chairman of PBL.
Already the richest badminton league in the world, the PBL has also contributed a lot to the development of the sport in recent times. With an array of shuttlers from India coming up, the cash-rich league along with the Gopichand academy has played a big role in bridging in a big change, that has seen as many as eight Indian shuttlers rank within the top 50 in a year.
“The league has been growing in stature every year. We believe it will take a quantum leap this year. Our goal is to make it the most admired Olympic sports league in the country, if not the world,” said Atul Pande, Managing Director, Sportzlive groups on Monday.
The eight teams that are set to feature are — Delhi Acers, Mumbai Rockets, Bengaluru Blasters, Chennai Smashers, Hyderabad Hunters, North Eastern Warriors, Ahmedabad Smash Masters and Awadhe Warriors – in a 24-day league.
The matches will be played in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Chennai and Guwahati.