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IBL conflict – Nail them down firmly

Feature 25 Jul 2013, 22:11 IST
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Indian Badminton League Players Auction

For the first time in the history of an unconventional sport, a big ray of hope was seen in the form of a grand auction. A giant initiative mooted by IBL. Perhaps, a 100 coaching camps or even 10 years of exhaustive promotion would not have proved so beneficial.

The response of the media and public all over the world has been overwhelming. The potential of our versatile Indian players and the large scale of the event have been well appreciated by the respectable bidders who have generously paid good amounts to ensure the growth of badminton in India. Also, top players like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and P Kashyap have been really supportive of this new event.

No one had visualized that badminton will become so popular that even though the player auction took place 4 days back, but the coverage is still alive. This is everywhere – on internet, radio, TV, newspapers and even magazines. The profiles, interviews, and news of the IBL have dominated the media and taken the entire nation in its grip.

This is really a very heartening development. So much so, that it has been predicted that India will soon become a hub of badminton. We hope that India will soon be at par with the best badminton playing nations like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. This IBL will go a long way in establishing India in badminton.

As they usually say, there will always be a hurdle in any noble cause. As soon as the auction was finished, Jwala Gutta and Ashwin Ponappa – the Indian women’s doubles players claimed that they are not being paid enough according to their position. I may mention that in this format, the doubles are not preferred.

That is the simple reason as to why the franchisees have not put a huge bid on the players in doubles. However, many of the fans feel that instead of going public, they should have taken up this matter with the wise coach Pulela Gopichand. He should have been taken into confidence and would have tried to solve the issue. But now, by raising the controversy, they have pushed the event into jeopardy.

The matter does not end here. Now the Indian men’s doubles players, namely Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas have claimed that they have also not been given appropriate weightage in this auction. It has been said that international-level Indian players are paid 15000 dollars in the events like World Championships, Thomas Cup, Uber Cup, Sudirman Cup, CWG and Asian Games.

These players have not apparently considered that this auction has been organized on a commercial level and it is the sweet will of the bidder to decide the amount payable. This recent tendency of lodging constant protests is not a good omen and it should be dealt with firmly.

To conclude, I am quoting our learned coach Pulela Gopichand, that people should move on. It is noteworthy to mention that the heights scaled by Indian badminton today are due to the wholehearted efforts put in by Gopichand. His word should always be the final one.

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