Riding on the success of the Premier Badminton League (PBL), the Badminton Association of India (BAI) is now planning to come up with another cash-awash domestic league for the national players after the Rio Olympics later in the year.
While the PBL was an event which saw international stars of world badminton descending to India to entertain the spectators, the proposed new league could see the Indian stars playing in six different cities.
“PBL was a success but we can’t stop here. While it was a great event, we want to give more opportunity to our Indian players to connect with the audience. So BAI will be holding an event in the lines of the PBL but at a smaller scale after the Rio Olympics (in August),” BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta said.
Like PBL, this new league will be a six team affair with 10 Indian players each. While PBL was held in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Lucknow, BAI is planning to take this new league to six new cities of India.
“The idea is to take badminton to new cities. It will help the game to grow further. So we want to take it to cities such as Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Vijaywada, Jaipur, Patna and Gurgaon,” Das Gupta said.
BAI is mulling to keep the auction purse for each of the franchise at Rs 50 lakh with the total prize money of the event at around Rs 1 crore.
“We also want to get StarSports on board as the broadcasters as they have been the pioneers when it comes to promoting Indian badminton. Also the ticketing system will be smooth so that people make their plans in advance and come to watch the sport,” Das Gupta said.
BAI had organised the Indian Badminton League (IBL) in 2013, before revamping it as PBL which was held from January 2-17 this year. There have been other leagues like in Maharashtra and it will be interesting to see what the proposed league holds for Indian badminton.