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PBL 2018 Preview: All You Need to Know about Teams, Schedule, Venue, Matches

PBL Season IV Overview

The new season of Premier Badminton League will commence in spectacular fashion today. The highly anticipated shuttling extravaganza will take place from 22 December until 13th January.

The competition comes only days after the conclusion of the inaugural season of BWF World Tour, which culminated with PV Sindhu becoming the first-ever recipient of the trophy and the $1.5 million prize money.

PBL thus comes in at that time of the year when most of the players have already gone through a lot of exersions due to the globe-trotting, playing, and recovering. It is difficult to imagine the physical and mental states of the players who are bracing themselves for competing once again in the richest league in the sport. But why to participate in the competition after such a rigorous season? Simple: Money. Money has been the big attracting point for almost all of the players, with the biggies bagging as much as ₹ 80 lakhs or $112,000.

Talking in numbers, Indian shuttlers like Saina Nehwal ($68,100), K Srikanth ($47,950) and HS Prannoy ($23,875) all will be going home with more money from PBL ($112,000) than they could manage in the prize-money for the season.

Whatever the case may be, PBL will be a 23-day feast for the Badminton fans, with an opportunity to watch your favourite shuttler slough it out against one another. This season will be different than the rest, in that there will be as many as 9 teams in fray, the highest number in its short history. This is a testament of the leagues growing popularity. Pune 7 Aces, co-owned by Bollywood actor Tapsee Pannu, is a new team debuting this year.

Facts

  • Venue: The event will take place in 5 cities: Mumbai (22-24 December), Hyderabad (25-28 December), Pune (29 December-1 January), Ahmedabad (2-6 January), Bengaluru (7-13 January).
  • Format: PBL uses a best of three formats, (where out of the five matches in a tie, the team with 3 or more victories wins the tie). The four teams to top in the group stage will further proceed on to knock-out stage scheduled on 11th and 12th January. The winners of these ties would fight it out in the final on 13th January.
  • Prize Money- Winner: ₹ 6 crore | Runner-up: ₹ 3 crores | 3rd and 4th Place finish: ₹ 1.5 crores | Rest of the teams: ₹ 75 lakhs
  • Match Per Tie: 5
  • Number of Ties: 30
  • Total Players Participating: 90

Matches to Look Out For

Carolina Marin vs PV Sindhu, 22nd December 2018

Viktor Axelsen vs HS Prannoy, 26th December 2018

Saina Nehwal vs PV Sindhu, 1st January 2019

What They Said

“For us, it’s something like a festival that we get to enjoy for three weeks. Where we can see so many different matches that we don’t get to see on the international circuit.” – Saina Nehwal, Captain of North Eastern Warriors.

“The schedule has definitely been hectic. We have to pick and choose tournaments. It’s not easy for players to give their 100 per cent and be in top form always. We have to figure that out and plan accordingly so we can give our best at every event.” PV Sindhu, Captain of Hyderabad Hunters.

“The league is held in December because that’s the only window that BWF gives us. We’d like to do it in August or July because there’s a slight break in the tour. But the BWF only allows us time now. So what we do from our side is that we try to give players breaks between every match. On the tour they play every day, here it’s once every three odd days. It’s a bit easier on the players.” – Atul Pande, managing director of PBL’s official licensee, Sportzlive.

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Monish Gadiya
Monish Gadiya is the Head of Content at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that innovation is the answer to all the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in Civil Engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.

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