Men

Nandu Natekar (National singles winner in 1953, 54, 58, 60, 61 and 65). The ultimate beneficiaries should be the players in terms of international exposure and experience and how they take their overall game forward to raise the standard and win medals. The IBL bring should value to Indian players, otherwise it will not be worthwhile.

Leroy D’Sa (National doubles winner with Prakash Padukone in 1973, 76, 77, with Suresh Goel in 1975 and with Sanat Misra in 1983, 84 and 86). The IBL will be great for the doubles pairs though we won’t see the women’s doubles. By training and practicing with foreign players the Indians will learn the strategy and planning aspect, how to play rallies and win points. The IBL will open this window. There is no point in matching foreign pairs in rallies; you don’t get a point, you have to win a point and I think the IBL will be a boost for Indian badminton on this count.

Abhinn Shyam Gupta (National singles winner in 2001 and 2002). The IBL will help the juniors a lot. They will get a chance to practice with foreign players and pick their brains, which will make them become more competitive and professional.

Deepankar Bhattacharjee (Olympian in 1992 and 1996 and National singles winner in 1993, 94 and 95).  The young Indian players will be able to follow the practice and playing styles and methods of international  players and playing against them will help them gain confidence. Money too will definitely help them and new talent will get attracted to the sport.

Chetan Anand (National singles winner in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009).

The IBL could boost Indian badminton at this juncture. Money is definitely a reason many players are looking to play in the IBL, but I hope the parents don’t push the young ones to take up the sport for money alone.

Women

Ami Shah nee Ghia (National singles seven times from 1973 to 76, 1979 to 1980 and 1983). Let the IBL begin. Money is definitely an added incentive and I am not surprised that the focus is on Saina and Sindhu. They deserve the money and attention.

Madhumita Bisht nee Goswami (National singles winner in 1981 and from 1984 to 1990). Every badminton fan in India will look forward to the clash between Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu.

Saina, will have the edge, but I suppose she will be tense playing in India and Sindhu has nothing to lose. Her confidence after the world championship performance will be high.

Manjusha Kanwar nee Pawangadkar (National singles winner in 1991, 92, 93 and 1996).

Women’s badminton will get an impetus with the rise of P.V. Sindhu along with Saina Nehwal.

IBL is good in the context of money, but players will cherish performances in World championships, Grand Prix and other major Super Series events.

P.V.V. Lakshmi (National singles winner in 1994 and 1995). The focus will be on women’s matches and especially on Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu, who is very young. The IBL is the best thing to have happened to Indian badminton.

Aparna Popat (Ten-time National singles winner from 1997 to 2006). Players are at their peak during the world championships and Olympics.

Saina has been in the front for three/four years and Sindhu has been going great guns. Saina, Sindhu and Kashyap are in three different teams and that’s going to be great for IBL.

With inputs from S. Sabanayakan, Avinash Nair and G. Viswanath

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