BAI launches Rs 5.5 cr Indian Badminton League on lines of IPL
Badminton Association of India (BAI) in partnership with Sporty Solutions Pvt Ltd (SSPL) today launched the Rs 5.5 crore (1 million dollars) Indian Badminton League (IBL), on the lines of popular Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tourney, at a star-studded function here.
The IBL, touted as the richest prize-money badminton torumament in the world, was unveiled in the presence of Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal, former all-England champion Pulella Gopichand, 2010 Commonwealth Games women doubles gold medalists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa and P C Kashyap.
On the occasion, the entire Indian Team bound for the prestigious Super Series in China and top brasses of BAI were present for the unveiling of the official IBL logo and roll-out plan.
The Rs 5.5 crore IBL will commence with six teams and six city-based franchise will lock horns in a format involving 28 ties of best-of-five mathes to a maximum of 140 mathes played over three weeks.
The tournament will be held from June 24 to July 11, 2013. It will be telecast to more than 150 countries.
A galaxy of international stars will be participating in the IBL, inluding the world's top ranked players from countris like China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea and Denmark.
The foreign stars, Indian national team stars and the emerging Indian players will be paid attractive appearance fees in addition to the prize money in this unique league.
Each franchise will comprise 1 Icon player and 11 players in total, including a maximum of four foreigners, in each team while a maximum of three offshore players can be fielded in action in a match.
Speaking on the occasion, Nehwal said, "This is a historic moment for Indian Badminton. Post 2012 Olympics, the junoon for badminton has reached a peak in India. I'm confident the Indian Badminton League will make the game even more popular among the masses and fulfill the high expectations it has raised." The legendary Gopichand said, "The IBL heralds a new era in Indian Badminton. It will provide a great opportunity for our players to play along with the best players of the world and learn from them. I'm sure the IBL will be a great catalyst in motivating our youngsters and aspiring talent."