5 ways that the Premier Badminton League will help Indian badminton

For someone like a Siril Verma, it is a great opportunity to play alongside a Parupalli Kashyap

The second season of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) will begin in Mumbai on Saturday, and much is expected out of the two-week competition. The league will see some of the best players in the game play for six different teams and explore different parts of the country, in a veritable badminton extravaganza.The league has a lot of scope to help Indian badminton, as already seen in the first edition back in 2013. Here is a look at five ways by which the PBL could prove to be beneficial for the sport in the country.

#1 Chance for youngsters to play with senior Indian stars

For someone like a Siril Verma, it is a great opportunity to play alongside a Parupalli Kashyap

Each of the PBL teams consists of 10 players that include some very well-known Indian as well as overseas professionals. Also, in the mix will be a few upcoming Indian players, and the two-week competition provides some of them with a great opportunity to play alongside the greats.

For someone like Siril Verma, who will represent the Hyderabad Hunters, to be in the same team as Parupalli Kashyap would be a dream come true, and he will look to gain as much as he can from the Commonwealth gold medalist.

Similarly, it would be an awesome experience for 17-year-old Vrushali Gummadi to train with Saina Nehwal while playing for the Awadhe Warriors.

The likes of Kashyap and Saina have experienced first-hand what it takes to become a badminton star in India. The PBL would thus provide an avenue for a lot of young Indian talent to learn those invaluable lessons.

#2 Chance for the established players to learn from the international stars

Ajay Jayaram will look to imbibe a few tricks from some of the overseas professionals

Not only do youngsters like Siril Verma and Vrushali Gummadi have a chance to gain out of the league, but even their seniors have an excellent opportunity to learn from some of the established global stars.

For someone like a Manu Attri, who put in impressive performances in 2015, it is a fantastic opportunity to learn from an experienced campaigner like Mathias Boe and further develop his game.

The same could be the case with an Ajay Jayaram, who can imbibe knowledge from the likes of Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia and Rajiv Ouseph of England.

2016 is a key year for several Indian shuttlers, with the countdown to make the cut for Rio 2016 starting almost immediately after the PBL. So it would be great for some of them to enter into the global events with a few more tricks up their sleeve.

#3 Opportunity to increase the badminton fan base

In the PBL lies an opportunity to increase the fan base

Over the last few years, the fan base for badminton has increased significantly with the increasing number of outstanding performances by India's shuttlers on the world stage. The likes of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth have done very well for India over the course of the last two years, as a result of which people have started to follow the sport more consciously.

It is expected that the PBL, during the course of the next two weeks, will play its part in giving people an opportunity to come to the venues and cheer for their favourite stars. That would, in, turn help in further taking the sport to a much wider audience and crucially, could encourage more kids to take up the sport.

#4 Opportunity for Indians to test themselves against the best

Parupalli Kashyap will be in the same team as Lee Chong Wei and can learn a great deal from the champion ahead of a busy season

The PBL will have some of the most well-known international stars in action as everyone knows. That would provide the Indian players a chance to observe their tremendous skills from a very close range, in the process improving the technical aspects of their own game.

This feature of the league could prove to be true for someone like Parupalli Kashyap, who has had his struggles with smashes. Kashyap could perhaps study Lee Chong Wei, who will also play for the Hyderabad Hunters, and learn how to execute the shot with a lot more precision.

As mentioned earlier, the upcoming season will perhaps be the most important one for many Indian players, and so ironing out their flaws before facing up to bigger challenges could determine their chances for the Olympics.

#5 Opportunity to promote India as a venue and stage more tournaments here in the future

The tournament provides a venue like the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru with a chance to showcase its facilities

Badminton being a global sport doesn't allow a particular country to play host to more than one or two tournaments a year. India itself has just two tournaments over the course of 12 months - the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold and the India Open Super Series.

The PBL provides the country and its administrators with a fantastic opportunity to display the facilities here and make the governing body consider bringing more tournaments to the country.

With the PBL spread over six cities, the organization of the event could further develop a positive image of the infrastructure on offer in the country, in turn leading to India possibly becoming a badminton hub in the future.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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