World Champion Carolina Marin, Olympic Medalist PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal to head Players’ Auction for the 4th edition of Vodafone Premier Badminton League

Saina Nehwal
Press Release

· Former world number one Viktor Axelsen, Son Wan Ho among big stars to go under the hammer on Monday

· Each team to have a purse of Rs 2.6 crore with a maximum limit of Rs 80 lakh for a player

New Delhi, October 7: The Players’ Auction on Monday for the fourth edition of the Vodafone Premier Badminton League promises to be yet another glitzy affair with some of the world’s leading badminton players going under the hammer here.

The auction this year will have an added significance with all players returning to the auction pool for the first time since 2015 with no right to match (RTM) cards for any teams as the league expands to nine teams with the addition of Pune Franchise.

Rio Olympic Gold Medalist and 2018 World Champion Carolina Marin, former world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen, Son Wan Ho, badminton legend Lee Yong Dae along with Asian Games medalists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal are part of the 145 players listed from 23 countries to go under the hammer.

Earning himself the tag of ‘Icon Player’ for the first time based on his phenomenal track record in PBL, men’s singles stars HS Prannoy will be in great demand as the teams would look to spend their maximum purse of Rs 2.6 crore in a bid to build a formidable unit.

The other players granted the iconic Status include Axelsen, Marin, Nehwal, Sindhu, Srikanth, Yong Dae, Sung Ji Hyun and Son Wan Ho.

The PBL, organized under the aegis of Badminton Association of India and conducted by Sportzlive, has been attracting top talents from across the globe since its inception and the fourth edition would be no different with many former and current world championship medalists confirming their presence for the 23-day extravaganza to be held from December 22, 2018 to January 13, 2019.

There has been a sizeable increase in the number of Indian players listed for the auction—67 of them are in fray—including Asian Junior Champion Lakshya Sen throwing his hat in the ring.

There would also be a quality Chinese representation with Tian Houwei returning for the second successive year while 2017 world championship men doubles bronze medallist Chai Biao and mixed doubles specialist Wang Sijie making their debut.

BAI President and PBL Chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his delight over the quality of the field for the auction and said, “The increased interest of top players in the PBL underlines the growing stature of the tournament which has become a global brand in a short span of time. The fourth edition of the league is beckoning us and promises to be a far bigger and more competitive affair with the ninth team added to the roster.”

According to the rules of the auction, the teams can spend a maximum of Rs 80 lakh on one player. In case of a deadlock, the player will be assigned to a team through a draw of lots.

Talking about the expectations from the auctions, Bengaluru Raptors franchise co-owner Arvind Bhatt said, “We are looking to have a team which is not only made of champion players but more than that players having character and project the ethos and team spirit.”

Winners of PBL Season 3, Hyderabad Hunter owner Shyam Gopu added prior to the auctions, “We have so far had a great run in the league and will look to build a utility team which can help us to defend the crown.”

The 23-day event will witness nine teams Delhi Dashers, Ahmedabad Smash Masters, Awadhe Warriors, Bengaluru Raptors, Mumbai Rockets, Hyderabad Hunters, Chennai Smashes, North Eastern Warriors and Pune 7 Aces slug it out for a prize purse of Rs 6 crore in five cities with the inaugural rounds being held in Mumbai. Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru will be the other host cities.

A total of 30 matches will be played with seven double headers adding to the charm of the world’s most competitive badminton league.

The PBL organisers have also roped in former International Cricket Council Anti-corruption unit head Ravi Sawani as the Chief anti-corruption and integrity commissioner to roll out the anti-corruption policies for the upcoming edition.

The PBL Season 4 would be telecast Live on the Star Sports and streamed live on Hotstar.

PBL Facts:

Teams: 9

Cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Guwahati & Pune

Venues: Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru

Dates: December 22nd 2018-January 13th 2019

Broadcast Partner: Star sports and Hotstar

Format: Best of 3 Games with 15 point a set

Total No of Ties: 30

No of matches in each Tie: 5

Prize money: 6 cr; Winner - 3 cr, Runner up - 1.5 cr, 3rd and 4th Place finish - 75 lakhs each

About Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4

The Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4, is the one of world’s richest prize money badminton tournament offering a prize of INR 6 Cr. The league is conducted by SportzLive, licensee partners of PBL and is organised under the aegis of Badminton Association of India (BAI), led by President Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma. The league kick starts from December 22nd 2018-January 13th 2019 and will see 9 teams; Delhi Dashers, Mumbai Rockets, Hyderabad Hunters, Awadhe Warriors, Chennai Smashers, Bengaluru Raptors, Ahmedabad Smash Masters, North Eastern Warriors and Pune Seven Aces battle out in across 5 different locations of India including Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. Matches will be telecast live on Star Sports and live streaming on Hotstar.

About Badminton Association of India:

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) is the Governing Body for Badminton in India recognized by Ministry of Sports, Govt. of India as National Sports Federation. BAI is registered under the Societies Act and recognised by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and internationally affiliated to Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC) and Badminton World Federation (BWF). BAI was formed in 1934 and Badminton Associations of all States / UTs are its Member Associations. BAI organizes National Championships for all categories of Badminton players apart from Zonal, Inter State Championships and All India Ranking Tournaments in India. BAI also conducts various International Tournaments like the India Open World SuperSeries, Syed Modi India Grand Prix, India Junior International Championship along with the ambitious grassroot project, Shuttle Time which aims to reach 1.5 million school children in 21 States in 2018. BAI has also initiated the Coaching the Coaches programmes for creating a pool of Coaches to promote Badminton in India.

About Sportzlive:

Sportz & Live Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (Sportzlive) is a Gurgaon based sports management and marketing company set up by highly experienced industry veterans! It's a venture capital funded company that acquires sports IPRs. It already has an impressive portfolio that includes the, Premier Badminton League, Indian Cue League (Snooker + Pool) and several other IPR properties. Sportzlive currently has about 90 days of Live action content as part of its overall vision for development of the sports ecosystem in the country. They have also set up North India's largest Badminton Academy at Greater Noida in association with Pullela Gopichand.

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Edited by Raunak J


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