Ahmedabad and Guwahati get new teams in Premier Badminton League
The third edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) is set to be a 24-day extravaganza with the pan-India league welcoming two new teams on board. The Ahmedabad Smash Masters and Guwahati Eastern Warriors are the latest franchises to join this hugely popular event that is scheduled to be held from December 22, 2017 to January 14, 2018.
Padmanabh Sports Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of the Padmanabh Industries Ltd, will own the team from Gujarat in this league which is organized by Sportzlive under the aegis of the Badminton Association of India (BAI).
“I would like to thank the new owners and welcome them into the BAI family. I would also like to congratulate SportzLive and believe that together we can take to badminton to unprecedented heights,” said BAI President Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma to PTI.
New changes in the upcoming season
Besides being an eight-team affair, the new season of the PBL, which offers Rs. 6 crore as prize money, will also be played in just four cities in a rolling format with the final culminating in Chennai. Among other notable changes, the PBL will revert to the 15-point which was followed in the first season in 2016.
In 2017, the 11-point was adopted which made it quite challenging for players.
Instead of having double-headers, the upcoming season will see one match per day to prevent dwindling spectator turnout and to ensure that the TV viewership does not nosedive.
Atul Pande, Executive Director of SportzLive, said, “This season we have two additional teams and a longer window and we are confident that badminton fans in Chennai will be up for an exciting time. We will also be hosting the final in Chennai and are confident that the way the sport has seen response PBL Season 3 will only grow bigger and better.”
So far, the PBL has consisted of only six teams - the Delhi Acers from Delhi, the Mumbai Rockets from Mumbai, the Awadhe Warriors from Lucknow, the Hyderabad Hunters from Hyderabad, the Chennai Smashers from Chennai and the Bengaluru Blasters from Bengaluru.
The 2016 edition was won by the Delhi Acers where Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto stole the show. This year, Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu led the Chennai Smashers to the title. HS Prannoy too put up a fabulous display, remaining unbeaten for the Mumbai Rockets, who finished as runners-up.