New Delhi, April 6: Badminton World Federation (BWF) secretary general Thomas Lund was Sunday quite impressed with the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) last year, saying that it brought energy to Indian badminton.
“I think the IBL is great. I followed it from the BWF headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. There was good spectator attendance, it was nicely presented and there were new young players who came up and got a chance to familiarise themselves with the media, microphones etc. These things are very good for our sport,” said Lund, who is also the BWF chief operating officer.
“The next generation will learn how to operate with the media through these events. They will know what to answer and what not to and just be professionals in what they are doing, which is great. The IBL brought energy into Indian badminton which national leagues are all about,” added the former two-time mixed doubles World Champion on the sidelines of the India Open Badminton 2014 underway in the Indian capital.
The second edition of the IBL will be held from Sep 30 to Oct 15. But the scheduling has already created an issue as it will be clashing with the $600,000 Denmark Open Super Series Premier which begins Oct 14.
It is mandatory for the world’s top-10 players to compete in a Super Series event, in which case players like Saina Nehwal, Lee Chong Wei and P.V. Sindhu might play only the first part of the six-team based league.
The scheduled Commonwealth Games, Asiad and the World Championships also prompted the organisers to hold it in October.
“We do not keep in mind the national leagues while making the calendar as we don’t sanction them. Having said that, we have reorganised the 2015 calendar and now the Super Series will not start in the first week of January but in March from the All-England Open. This has been done to create a possible Super Series break where the players can take some time off and rejuvenate.” said the Dane.
“That could also be a window where there national leagues could be played. We have seasonal breaks in the calendar — one each at the beginning and end of the year — which could be used for IBL,” said Lund, who is also a member of the Badminton Hall of Fame.