PBL 2018: Here's everything you need to know about the Premier Badminton League Season 3
The Premier Badminton League is back with its third season commencing on December 23 and concluding on January 14. In this edition, two new franchises have been introduced -- namely Ahmedabad Smash Masters and North Eastern Warriors, alongside the six old ones. They are defending champions Chennai Smashers, Delhi Dashers (changed from Acers previously), Hyderabad Hunters, Mumbai Rockets, Bengaluru Warriors and Awadhe Warriors.
India's two shuttle queens PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have been retained by their old franchises -- the Smashers and Warriors respectively. Kidambi Srikanth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Lee Yong Dae and Vladimir Ivanov have all also been retained by their franchises.
Newcomers Ahmedabad bought women's World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying for Rs. 52 lakhs and also acquired bought the US Open champions HS Prannoy, thus further strengthening their squad. Men's singles world number one Victor Axelsen was bought for Rs. 50 lakhs by his old franchise Bengaluru while women's World No.4 Carolina Marin and World No.3 Sung Ji-Hyun will play for Hyderabad and Delhi respectively.
CWG 2014 gold medalist Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth, who won four Superseries titles in 2017, both will be playing for Awadhe Warriors, who on paper are easily looking as one of the strongest teams.
The tournament spanning three weeks will be held across the country in five different cities. The first round of games will be played in Guwahati, while Delhi will host the second round. The third round will be held in Lucknow while the fourth will take place in Chennai. The fifth and final round including the knockout stages will be hosted by Hyderabad.
PBL will broadcast on Star Sports Network on television while hotstar.com owns the online broadcasting rights for the tournament.
There will be 20 league ties in the tournament and each league tie will have five matches followed by three more league ties in the knockout stages. The five matches will consist of two men's singles, one women's singles, one mixed doubles and one men's doubles games, which will be a best-of-three with 11 points per game.
A team plays five matches in one league tie. In a regular match, if a team wins, they get one point and if they lose, they get zero points. But, in a match, where the team has activated their trump card, if they win, they get 2 points instead of 1 and if they lose, they lose one point instead of not affecting the point system.
The first match of the tournament sees PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal go head-to-head as the Chennai Smashers take on the Awadhe Warriors.