Juliane Schenk praises Pullela Gopichand ahead of Indian Badminton League

Schenk hoped that the Indian Badminton League would set a new benchmark for the sport.

Updated: July 30, 2013 19:05 IST
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New Delhi: World number four Juliane Schenk has heaped praise on Pullela Gopichand, saying the chief coach of India is doing a "great job" in helping young shuttlers perform at world stage.

Schenk, who won the the bronze medal at the last edition of World Championship in London, will turn up for Pune Pistons in the inaugural Indian Badminton League and hoped that the tournament would set a new benchmark for the sport.

"Badminton has huge potential and the IBL is setting new standards. Gopichand (India's chief coach) is doing a great job with the players and an increasing number of Indians are now emerging into the world tour and challenging the more established and experienced players. PV Sindhu, Srikanth, Sai Praneeth and HS Prannoy are all doing well lately," she said.

"I think one of the biggest challenges (during the IBL) will be to form a strong team with different players from different countries," she said.

"Getting the team into the rhythm with hectic travelling will be the key. The team which can connect the players and the coaches well with each other will stand a good chance of winning."

The 30-year-old German, who is training for the World Championship in China next month with an acclimatization programme in Hong Kong, said she is looking forward to playing against Indian players in India.

"I have many good memories of playing in India and I'll simply try my best to enjoy each match and also help my team-mates perform. But yes, playing Indian players on home soil will always be challenging as they won't lack any motivation," she said.

"For the first time in badminton history, there is a league where teams can bid for players and buy them at an auction. The IBL opens up the market and brings a new perspective not only to the players, but also to the sport in general."

"The concept of auctioning players is common in soccer and cricket, but the IBL has introduced an interesting dimension to badminton by creating a new value for players in the market," added Schenk

The Indian Badminton League is set to be held from August 14 with Krrish Delhi Smashers taking on Pune Pistons in the opener. The inaugural IBL will feature six franchises and will run for 18 days.

Each franchise will host a two-day leg with a total of 90 matches. The top four franchises in the league stages will clash in the semifinals and the winners will meet in the final on August 31 in Mumbai.

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