Premier Badminton League is back with its fourth season. Unlike in 2017, which had eight teams, there will be nine teams this season.
The new team that has been added is the Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu co-owned Pune 7 Aces, led by Carolina Marin.
All the nine teams are as follows: Ahmedabad Smash Masters, Delhi Dashers, Mumbai Rockets, Awadhe Warriors, North Eastern Warriors, Pune 7 Aces, Chennai Smashers, Hyderabad Hunters and Bengaluru Raptors.
Each team owner had a total purse of Rs. 2.6 crore to spend on its players at the auction. Only Awadhe Warriors and Mumbai Rockets spent the full amount.
The highest bid for any player was kept at Rs. 80 lakhs. Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Viktor Axelsen, Lee Yong Dae, Sung Ji Hyun and Carolina Marin each pocketed the highest bid.
It raised quite a few eyebrows when none of the teams bid for Saina Nehwal in the first round. But in the second round, Saina was bought by the North Eastern Warriors for Rs. 80 lakh.
Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia became the highest-sold Non-Icon player as he was bought by the Delhi Dashers for Rs. 70 lakhs.
Just like Season 3, Season 4 will also have a 15-point game format. The Trump Match rule is also there in Season 4. According to this, each team has to pick one specific match as its trump match, at least one hour before the tie started. The team which opts for trump match will get +2 for a win or -1 for losing that match, whereas the opponent team will get only +1 for winning that match. Both the teams can also choose the same match as its trump match.
PBL Season 4 will be completed in five legs, starting from the Mumbai leg, followed by the Hyderabad leg, then the Pune leg, the Ahmedabad leg. The final leg will be in Bengaluru.
The season 4 will kick start on December 22 in Mumbai. The first clash will be between defending champion Hyderabad Hunters, led by PV Sindhu and Pune 7 Aces which is led by Carolina Match.
All the 9 franchises will play for the coveted trophy for 23 days in different ties. The final of PBL Season 4 will be on 13th of January 2019. The semi-finals and finals will take place in Bengaluru.
The matches will be beamed live on the Star network and live streaming will also be available on Hotstar.