December 9, 2016 9:59:40 pm
Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu is raring to go for the second edition of Premier Badminton League (PBL), starting on January 1 next year, as she expects an exciting competition with several top players, including world number one Carolina Marin, set to take part in it.
“We are really excited about PBL-2. Some of the best players in the world will be seen in action here in our country. I am sure it’s going to be really exciting for not only the fans but also the players,” Sindhu said.
Sindhu, who will be playing for Chennai Smashers, said her team was one of the best in the League.
“We have one of the best teams in the League. We have a good mix of singles and doubles players that makes us a force to reckon with,” Sindhu said today.
The competition in the tournament would be keen as every team has at least two-three top players in its ranks, chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, the force behind PBL, said.
“All the teams are well balanced. Everybody has at least two-three great players. So the competition is going to be intense and the new format of best of three 11 point game adds new twist to this year’s edition,” he said.
Rio Olympics gold medallist Carolina Marin of Spain, who will play for Hyderabad Hunters, said she was looking forward to the clash with Sindhu.
“The final at Rio was a tight contest. Sindhu is a good attacking player. I look forward to playing her again. I am sure it will be interesting,” Marin said.
“It’s a pleasure to be associated with the PBL. It’s a very exciting tournament and we have a very strong team in the Hunters. I believe we can go all the way and win the tournament, and surely,” said the Spanish superstar who was bought by Hyderabad Hunters for a whopping Rs 61.5 lakh.
“I am looking forward to my stay in Hyderabad. I hear that fans in India turn up in huge numbers. I am excited about the event that awaits me,” she added.
Sindhu said she would not only welcome Marin to India but also offer her to come to her home to enjoy Hyderabad Biryani.
“I am sure she will enjoy her stint in India. I would like her to come home to relish home-made Biryani,” Sindhu said.
World number 13 Srikanth Kidambi, who will represent Lucknow’s Awadhe Warriors, was also hopeful of his team’s chances.
“I believe that we have the best team in the tournament. We have a good mix of experience and youth and I am sure we are going to have a rocking time,” he said.
The organisers claimed that PBL will emerge as the richest league in the world with Rs 6 crore up for grabs as cash prize and also a total player salary purse of 12 crore for the 2-week league.
The two-week long league from January 1-14 will be held across six cities, with Hyderabad hosting the first set of matches and New Delhi the finals.
Top Indians in the league are: Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and B Sumeeth Reddy (Chennai Smashers), Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth (Awadhe Warriors), Jwala Gutta (Delhi Acers), Ajay Jayaram (Mumbai Rockets), Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma (Hyderabad Hunters), Saurabh Verma (Bengaluru Blasters).
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