The second edition of the Indian Badminton League (IBL) will be held from September 30 to October 15, the IBL Governing Council said on Monday.
The governing council has decided to allow franchisees to increase the team strength from 11 in the first year to 13 players. Each franchisee can pick two more players — Indian or foreign — which will further intensify the competition.
“Badminton competition at the 2014 Asian Games gets over on the 29th of September, 2014. Players can directly fly-in from Incheon for the league,” said the Badminton Association of India President and IBL Governing Council Chairman, Dr Akhilesh Das Gupta.
“Last year, too, players had reached Delhi directly from Guangzhou, China, after taking part in the World Badminton Championships. This period ensures us the right opportunity to have world’s best players for the IBL, which already has created a buzz the world over.
“Our success last year had made our counterparts in international federations more confident about the league.
This year more countries and more stars are eager to join us,” added the BAI chief.
Dr Das Gupta, who is also a member of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) executive council and a vice-president at the Badminton Asia Confederation, said: “BWF is very impressed with the IBL and want to know more about it. They consider India a very important country and what can get bigger than the fact that the BWF Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held here during the Thomas and Uber Cup.”
The first edition of the IBL, held between 14-31 August, 2013, was won by PVP Ventures-owned Hyderabad Hotshots. The team captain Saina Nehwal had remained unconquered in all the seven ties on her way to the title triumph.
“Following the success of the inaugural IBL, many top players are already approaching us for this year’s event. To ensure that world’s best are available for IBL 2014, the IBL Governing Council has decided to make the most of this window,” said Sporty Solutionz Chief Exectuive, Ashish Chadha.
The league will be played in Six Indian cities — Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.