A franchise-based badminton league on the lines of hugely successful Indian Premier League (IPL ) cricket tournament will be held early next year featuring top Indian and international players, BAI said today.
The Badminton Association of India took the decision during its executive committee meeting today on the sidelines of the 77th Senior National Championship at the Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Complex here.
"BAI has given the go ahead to Maharashtra for hosting the Indian Badminton League. We will have 6-8 teams. The commercial partners have already been finalised but a few modalities are yet to be done, so we will be making the major announcement in the last week of this month alongwith the commercial partners," BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta told reporters.
The tournament will have top India shuttlers as well as international players enthralling fans across the country.
"It is going to be a first of its kind tournament. We are in touch with the BWF (international parent body). We will have international players and we want to host it around February next year," Das Gupta said.
"We have made Maharashtra as a nodal agency. Mumbai, being the commercial hub, also has the experience. The matches will be held on a home and away basis. It is a new concept and it still needs to be developed," he added.
The BAI also decided to make it mandatory for the top players to participate in the national championship.
"We have formed a three-member committee including chief coach Pullela Gopi Chand, former player Vimal Kumar and Maharashtra Badminton Association president Pradeep Gandhe to persuade the senior national players to give importance to Senior Nationals. We have made it mandatory for top players to participate in the Nationals," he said.