Touted as the richest prize-money badminton tournament in the world, IPL-style Indian Badminton League will be held from August 14-31 across six cities in the country, it was announced on Wednesday.
The IBL finals will be held in Mumbai on August 31 while Hyderabad and Bangalore will get to host a semifinal tie each in the USD one million (approx Rs 5.5 crore) purse league.
New Delhi will host the grand Opening Ceremony of the IBL, featuring international and national stars, on August 13, followed by the first round rubbers on August 14-15.
The six franchise-based city teams featuring in the first edition of the IBL are Hyderabad Hotshots (Hyderabad), Rajdhani Smashers (Delhi), Mumbai Masters (Mumbai), Karnataka Kings (Bangalore), Pune Vijetas (Pune) and Lucknow Warriors (Lucknow).
The names of the owners of the six franchises will be announced here on May 28.
"The preparations for the Indian Badminton League are in full swing. I'm confident the IBL Opening Ceremony will be a breathtaking extravaganza with the whole world watching it LIVE," Badminton Association of India President Akhilesh Das Gupta said.
Ashish Chadha, CEO Sporty Solutionz (P) Ltd said, "We hope to create a spectacular Opening Ceremony for badminton lovers around the world. Top international stars and Bollywood icons along with sports stars will dazzle in a never-seen before entertainment. For the first time in badminton, all the leading players of the world will be seen in action in an exciting format in the IBL that allows even arch-rivals to become team-mates."
The IBL is a joint initiative of BAI and Sporty Solutionz Pvt. Ltd, who are the commercial right holders of the League for multiple years.