Bangalore’s own Banga Beats is among the top contenders in the Indian Badminton League

Banga Beats, Bangalore’s own team is among the top title contenders in the six team Maiden Indian Badminton League, the tournament, modelled on the IPL, which starts tomorrow. The franchisee of the Bangalore team is a real estate group, Better Option Propmart (BOP) who are upbeat about their team. The team has Indian’s No.1 shuttler among men, P. Kashyap.

The Commonwealth Games silver medalist spearheads the team which has a mix of talented Indian and international players including Hu Yun, Tai Tze Ying, Carolina Marin, Carsten Morgensen, Arvind Bhat, Akshay Diwalkar, Aparna Balan, Aditya Prakash and J. Meghana. Former National champion and National coach U. Vimal Kumar, who is one of most reputed coach in the game, is the coach for Banga Beats and its CEO is Vijay Lancy, another badminton international player.

Kashyap, who attended the team’s media interaction recently, said he was proud to be associated with Banga Beats, which he rates as a well-balanced combination of youth and experience with a coach (Vimal Kumar ) who is a astute strategist. He also said he was happy to represent Bangalore, which has a rich tradition in the game and promised his best for the team.

Amit Mavi, MD of the BOP Group, explaining the rationale behind BOP’s foray into badminton. “We have always been big on sports and had been looking for outlets to diversify. IBL was an ideal opportunity for us to align our expansion plans with something that we loved.” Vijay Lancy, the CEO said “This is a dream team for us, a perfect blend of national and international players, which will definitely benefit the budding talent of the game in the country. Playing with top ranked international players with huge reputation will only bring confidence showing.”

On paper, the team seems to focussed on the singles players’ strength and presents a scratch combination for doubles. U. Vimal Kumar however disagrees “We have a fairly balanced team, a mix of everything. Kashyap for men’s singles, World No.8 Tai Tzu Ying for ladies singles and we have Carsten Mogensen, an ace shuttler still enjoying the number 3 spot internationally with Akshay Dewalkar who has several wins in the junior championships and silver medalist at the National Games 2011.”

The decision to drop women’s doubles did cause some ripples and players such as Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had no takers as a result, and IBL organisers had to cut their base price by half so that teams could show interest in hiring them. Vimal Kumar is quite confident of Banga Beats chances aganst strong teams such as Hyderabad Hotshots, Mumbai Masters and Delhi’s Krrish Smashers.“We think it would be exciting! All teams are balanced and we are sure our players will deliver the best. It should be really close. No matter what the numbers are in the end, it will surely be a great show for the audience.”

IBL will benefit players not only in monetary terms, but also provide them exposure and provide a vital learning curve for youngsters. “It is certainly a great opportunity for the players,” says Lancy. “All players will benefit from the international exposure. Young players will find this platform especially beneficial, where they will get to observe and learn the nuances of the sport playing alongside or against top international players.”