Posted on: July 19, 2013
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The player auction of the inaugural IBL will occur on 22nd July

By Antara Das

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The player auction of the inaugural IBL will occur on 22nd July

It has emerged that the player auction of the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) will finally occur on 22nd July at New Delhi. At last, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) can heave a sigh of relief.

Actually, the twice-postponed auction was scheduled to be held on Friday but was canceled as the last franchise Mumbai, was purchased by the trio of legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, Telugu actor Nagarjuna and former Andhra Ranji player V Chamundeswarinath on Wednesday.

The owners of Dabur India Ltd, the Burman family purchased Pune. To be frank, Mumbai and Pune were the last two franchises unsold till yesterday. Reportedly, the franchises asked for few more days of postponement prior the date was fixed for 22nd July.

Truly, the development implies a victory of sorts for the BAI. The IBL is supposed to hold in 6 cities from 14th-31st August. Remarkably, the cash-rich badminton league in the world will attribute to some of the apex players in the world. However, it is well known that there will be zero participation from China and South Korea. China will organize their national championship during that time.

In fact, the IBL will be played according to the Sudirman Cup format and will be telecasted live in more than 100 countries. The BAI had to face some difficulties because of uncertainty regarding the participation of a few players but things have ultimately fallen into place. One of the biggest star attractions will be world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. Due to the possible non-participation of China, Deu Pengyu, Chen Long, Wang Yihan, Li Xuerui and Wang Shixian will miss the tournament.

Six teams, namely Hyderabad HotShots, Lucknow Warriors, Pune Vijetas, Rajdhani Smashers, Karnataka Kings and Mumbai Masters will play a total of 90 matches. Notably, the IBL will comprise 150 players as part of the auction to fill up the 66 available spots. Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponappa, PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and a yet-to-be-named foreign player marked the 6 icon players with a base price of $50,000. Precisely, every team will consist of 11 players. There will be maximum of four foreigners and one compulsory under-19 player from the local catchment area.

Former international Sanjay Sharma commented that IBL is a great concept. He explained that the Indian players, mainly the younger ones, will gain with the commencement of IBL. With the success of Saina Nehwal, Kashyap, Sindhu and others, badminton has emerged to be a very popular game in the country. He predicted that the IBL could be an ideal platform to take the game to the next level. In fact, badminton is the only game where they have six players in apex 50 in the world ranking.

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