Karnataka Badminton Association and Level Up Sports to hold annual league on the lines of PBL

Rajesh Reddy (C), honorary secretary of KBA, shaking hands with Arvind Bhat (L) after the deal
Rajesh Reddy (C), honorary secretary of KBA, shaking hands with Arvind Bhat (L) after the deal
Suhas Nayse

The Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) has selected Level Up Sports, headed by former men’s singles national champion Arvind Bhat, to conduct an annual league along the lines of the Premier Badminton League (PBL). The franchise-based league will be held at the KBA Hall in Bengaluru.

Arvind Bhat, who is also the director of Level Up Sports, is quite optimistic and looking forward to the league.

“Our main aim is to give a platform to our Karnataka players to play league matches at this level and earn some very important match practice," said Arvind Bhat. "Along with that, players also have the chance to earn good salaries for their effort and this amount will help the players support their career."

Players are set to earn more than Rs 2 lakh to play in the two-week league: Arvind Bhat

The 42-year-old former World No. 20 has revealed that several players are poised to earn handsome amounts by participating in the proposed badminton league.

“At this level players spend a lot of money to sustain their career and this money will help the players," said Bhat. "Many of the players playing in this league will be easily able to earn at least Rs 2 to 3 lakh or more per year for a couple of weeks of matches in the league."

Dates, franchise owners and other details will be finalized soon after discussion with BAI: Bhat

Arvind Bhat also thanked KBA for giving him the opportunity to hold the league, the dates and team owners of which will be finalized soon.

“Level Up Sport is thankful to KBA for this opportunity," said Bhat. "We hope to live up to the expectations. The majority of the players in the league will be from Karnataka. We will come up with an outstation players’ ratio. We will have a few on every team. Dates are not out yet as we still have to form teams and owners."

He also said that some of the top badminton players in the country will be added to the auction list. The Badminton Association of India (BAI) and organizers will have a detailed discussion about the finer points of the league.

“Yes other national players will also be allowed," said Bhat. "We will work with BAI on this. Players outside of Karnataka will be categorized as “foreign players”. Venue as of now is KBA. But we could have the owners choose too. Same with the PBL style. We want to conduct the league on the lines of PBL and I am quite optimistic about the success of the league."

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Badminton Association is serious about the resumption of badminton in the state.

“Karnataka badminton is hungry for events now as due to the pandemic there was not much action," said KBA secretary Rajesh Reddy. "We feel this league will give the players a much needed team event which will eventually be a stepping stone to the PBL, Sudirman Cup, Thomas and Uber Cup.
"I have known Arvind Bhat and his team for many years," he added. "They have PBL experience and we feel they will do a good job and hence chose them."
Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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