The IPL has certainly brought about an ambitious thinking in the badminton circles in Tamil Nadu.
With the support of TNBA and the Sports Authority of Tamil Nadu, ‘Game Point', a sports management concern, has come forward to organise a professional Tamil Nadu Badminton League in the city from June 1 to 10.
So the new names of teams that will be heard now are Chennai Singams (Chennai), Delta Warriors (Tiruchi), Temple City Knights (Madurai), Dazzle Force (Chennai), Erode Eagles (Erode) and Covai Panthers (Coimbatore). These six teams, with ten players each, have been formed with a proper auction done three days ago.
A sprinkling of India internationals, including former national champion Chetan Anand (who earned the highest price) and foreign players (13 from eight countries), aside from State players form the pool of talent in the TNBL, the first of its kind in the State but an extension of the leagues conducted with fair success in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
To encourage talent
At a press meet on Thursday, Aditya Elango, who has been credited with having come up with this idea, gave the salient points of TNBL, stressing that the effort was to encourage talent and give the sport a fresh direction in the State.
“Ever since this was planned, we have received any number of support calls. We are looking forward to more sponsors to make this inaugural programme an all round success.”
Elango said that the matches, with Rs. 9 lakh as prize money (including Rs. 4 lakh for the winner), would be held in the various clubs in the city.
The playing format is men's and women's singles, men's doubles, mixed doubles and junior boys' doubles.
R. Abdul Raheem, organising secretary, TNBL and the State chief coach, T. Maran, also spoke on the occasion.