New Delhi, Feb 18: Top badminton players from across the globe have confirmed their participation in the inaugural edition of the $1 million Indian Badminton League (IBL) to be held from June 24 to July 11.
While the Indonesian men’s entourage will be led by World No.4 Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who will begin with a base price of $50,000 for the Players Auction, and World No.10 Simon Santaso, Europe will be represented by the likes of Marc Zweibler of Germany and Danish World No.11 Jan O Jorgensen.
Olympics men’s doubles silver medallists and World No.1 Mathias Boe and Cartsen Mogensen from Denmark have also sent their confirmation to go under the hammer.
Meanwhile, men’s singles World No.8 Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam and the 2012 Olympics doubles bronze medallist Lee Yong Dae have also confirmed their availability for the biggest prize money badminton tournament in the world.
The women’s circuit will witness top players such as German World No.4 Juliane Schenk, two-time All England champion and current World No.7 Tine Baun of Denmark and World No.9 Tai Tzu Ying of Taipei.
Kuncoro, who was just 20 when he won the bronze in 2004 Olympics, said the IBL will raise the quotient of badminton across the globe.
“It is a great thing that the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has come up with a concept like this. It is a one of a kind initiative and will provide a rich learning experience for all the players and allow the fans to witness the creme-de-la-creme of the badminton world on a single platform. I feel it will bring fans closer to the sport,” said the Indonesian.
German star Schenk said she was excited about playing the IBL and the league could be a turning point for the sport.
“I’m looking forward to playing the IBL. It will be exciting and interesting for sure,” said Schenk, who clinched the women’s singles bronze in the 2011 World Championships.
BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta feels the presence of world-class players will make the league more competitive and interesting. He also expressed his gratitude to different national associations for allowing their players to be a part of the IBL.
“When you are organising a league like this, it needs to be ensured that top players are part of it. Now we can assure the fans a world-class league,” said Das Gupta.
“We are thrilled to welcome some of the biggest names in badminton. The IBL will witness practically all the top-50 players in the world and we will be announcing more names soon,” said Ashish Chadha, CEO, Sporty Solutionz.
IBL is a joint initiative of BAI and Sporty Solutionz Pvt. Ltd, the commercial right holder of the league for multiple years.