Indian Badminton League to be revived; Chennai new team

After the bitter-sweet experience of the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL), the Badminton Association of India (BAI) is keen to get it right when it takes over the organisation of the second edition in January next year, says a report in The Hindu.

“This time, BAI will organise it and our core team will ensure it is much better and bigger than the inaugural one,” assured BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta in an informal chat with The Hindu on Thursday.

The first IBL was held in the second fortnight of August, 2013. The next edition has been tentatively scheduled from January 2 to 17. This time, BAI has decided to go it alone with the IBL governing council calling the shots. Last time, BAI's then commercial partner Sporty Solutionz was entrusted the task of dealing with various stakeholders. Since then, the two have burnt all bridges.

Meanwhile, according to a report in The Times Of India, the BAI president said that the association had already finalised some of the franchise -who are the same from the first edition -while a `few other new owners are coming on board.' IBL-2, which is expected to get underway on January 2, will be held across six cities -Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.

"We are only replacing Pune with Chennai this time because we don't want the league to be held in two cities in the same state. The players will be getting more money this year because we are planning to increase the salary pool from the existing Rs 1.5 crore cap. The franchise owners are already in talks with some Bollywood celebrities, offering them sweat equity in the teams. These celebrities will increase the glamour quotient of the league," he said.