India will host its first-ever Super Series badminton championship next year at Delhi's Siri Fort Auditorium with Hyderabad and Mumbai as the stand-by venues, according to K.Ch. Punnaiah Choudhary, in-charge secretary of the Badminton Association of India.

“This elevation of India to host the Super Series could not have come at a more appropriate time. We have been given the right to host this Series from 2011 to 2013.

“In a way it is a tribute to our organisational skills in hosting so many major events including the World Cup in Hyderabad,” the BAI official told The Hindu.

Mr. Choudhary said that the decision of the World Badminton Federation was conveyed to Mr. V.K. Verma, president of BAI and vice-president of BWF, who incidentally was present at the BWF executive council meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

India got the nod to host this Super Series ahead of Switzerland and it will be held immediately after the all-England Championship each year, he added.

In a statement, Mr Verma said, “This is great news for us in India and in keeping with India's rise in the WBF circuit. We are now ranked seventh in the world in both men and women's sections, having been placed at 30th position five years ago.”

The Super Series event is a $5,00,000 project (including prize money worth $2,00,000) and features the world's top 32 players in men's and women's singles and doubles.

In a statement released through BAI, badminton great Prakash Padukone, who won the all-England crown in 1980 and the World Cup in 1981, said he was delighted that India would host a Super Series tournament.

“A lot of young players will get an opportunity to watch the top players of the world in action and improve their own game,” he said.

“More youngsters will also take up the game if events of this stature are held regularly and publicised extensively.”

National coach Pullela Gopichand, who won the all-England title in 2001, said the hosting of the Super Series from next year would help the sport gain more popularity in the country.

“It is a great moment for us. I am happy that we are at a stage today to host such a prestigious event as a Super Series tournament. India has been put on the world badminton map and this will be a boon for the badminton fraternity in India.”

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