Top players excited to play PBL matches in Chennai
Chennai, Jan 4 (PTI) Chennai will be hosting Premier Badminton League (PBL) matches for the first time and the players are excited about playing here.
The city leg kicks off with a match between Bengaluru Blasters and North Eastern Warriors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here tomorrow.
World number one Viktor Axelsen, who plays for Bengaluru Blasters, said he was excited and looked forward to playing in the city.
"I am really happy to be part of PBL and look forward to the matches in Chennai. We have had a good start to the season and we can hopefully do well," he told reporters here today.
He said it was important for him and the team to take each match seriously.
"We have to take every match seriously. We are ready for the matches here," he added.
The women's world No.1 Tai Tzu-Ying of Taiwan, who plays for Ahmedabad Smash Masters, said she was thrilled to be part of PBL for the first time.
"I am so happy to be in India and be part of PBL. Hope our team keeps performing well," she said.
"Indian fans are very nice and I am enjoying this trip to the country," Tzu-Ying added.
Indian ace H S Prannoy, who has notched up 10 successive wins in PBL, by beating compatriot Kidambi Srikanth on Tuesday, said it has been a great season for him and the team.
"It has been a great season for me and my team. Hope we can keep playing well and qualify for the knockout stages," he added.
Bengaluru Blasters are second on the points table behind Awadhe Warriors while the Ahmedabad franchise is third.
Prannoy heaped praise on his teammate Tzu-Ying and said he had watched by practising with her and watching her training sessions.
"Tzu is a great player. She hits shots from some unbelievable angles. I have learnt a lot by practising with her and watch her train," he added.
He also said was not thinking about the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, scheduled for later this year and said he did not play very well when he set targets..
"I don't really perform well when I set targets. I will think about the CWG and Asian Games when they get closer. First of all, it will be difficult to qualify as India has a lot of quality players," Prannoy said.
The 25-year-old shuttler said it was nice to see the Indian shuttlers do well in the last one year and more and added that the players shared a good rapport, which was very helpful.
Prasad Mangipudi, Executive Director, SportzLive, official licensee of the League, said it was wonderful that PBL matches were being held in Chennai and added that he expected the fans to turn out in good numbers