New Delhi: The high-voltage Vodafone Indian Badminton League kick-started with hearty celebrations in the capital today. The evening witnessed many famous faces of the badminton fraternity, particularly the icon players of the 6 teams.
The ceremony started with formal speeches by Dr.Akhilesh Dasgupta, President, Badminton Association of India and Ashish Chaddha, CEO, Sporty Solutionz, the commercial partners for Vodafone IBL. Saina Nehwal, the ace badminton stalwart of the country, along with Jwala Gutta, P Kashyap and Mathias Boe took the IBL oath on behalf of the player sorority.
Thanking the Badminton Association of India and all the sponsors for their undaunted support, Mr.Ashish Chaddha, Sporty Solutionz said, ”This is a proud moment in the history of sports in the country. Badminton has always been known for strengthening relationships and I’m confident that the momentum created by Vodafone IBL will create stronger synergies amongst all of us.
Declaring the Vodafone IBL 2013 open, Dr. Akhilesh Dasgupta, President, Badminton Association of India said, “I am confident that the maiden league will take the sport to a new level. The presence of icon players has only enhanced the profile of the game”.
The opening ceremony had to its credit, celebrated artist Mika, who enthralled the audience with his peppy numbers leaving the audience wanting more.
Renowned singer, Neeti Mohan also took the stage to perform her famous number Jiya re jiya from the movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
A popular troupe from Holland bedazzled the spectators with spellbinding acrobatic performances and a laser show. This was the first time that the troupe was performing on Indian soil and stunned the audience with their presentation.
The $1-million Vodafone Indian Badminton League is set to launch on August 14, 2013, with some high-voltage action expected between Krrish Delhi Smashers and Pune Pistons. The 2013 IBL will feature six franchises and will run for 18 days. Each franchise will host a two-day leg and the League will showcase a grand total of 90 matches, providing broadcasters and in-stadia spectators with more than 100 hours of LIVE “family entertainment” which will also be viewed by a significant international audience. The matches will be held during late afternoon and evening to coincide with prime time television and providing a convenient time for the stadium audience.
The top four franchises in the Vodafone IBL will clash in the semi-finals and the winners will meet in the grand final on August 31, which will be played in Mumbai, for the richest prize money tournament in badminton till now.