Badminton is changing and evolving in India. The game is moving into a new phase, where there will be franchise-based teams, and new rules. This change has been made in the hopes that larger crowds will be drawn to watch and follow the game. The game will now be played in a more attacking and competitive style.
The Indian Badminton League (IBL) is a million dollar event. There will be teams from six cities playing and the event will be played over a couple of weeks. Up until now, there has been a two point gap that was needed to win. This has been changed in order to add more excitement to the game. The games will now be played up to 21 points. After two games have been played, if each player has won one game, a deciding game is played for just 11 points.
Prakash Padukone, the former All-England champion, said: “The IBL is definitely the best thing to happen to Indian badminton. Badminton has not seen this kind of money before.”
He further explained how it would make the sport far more popular than it presently is, and that in return, it would also bring in greater income for the players. He did, however, note that a lot would hinge on how successful the inaugural event will be.
The badminton teams for the league, which are owned by both individual owners, and businesses have been put together, with the owners buying players in an auction, which included players from both India and other countries. Each team will have six Indian players and four foreign players. Each team will also include an up-and-coming junior player from India.
While there has been much excitement around this upcoming event, there have been some setbacks too. The setbacks have mostly been with regard to some countries, such as China, a top badminton country, choosing not to send its players to the IBL.
The final will take place on 31st August 2013.