The first edition of the Indian Badminton League starts in New Delhi on Wednesday. Six franchisees will vie for top honours in the million-dollar championship, spread over 18 days. With at least five top Indian players like World No.4 Saina Nehwal, current world bronze medallist PV Sindhu, former world doubles bronze medallist Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa and London Olympics quarterfinalist Parupalli Kashyap in action, this will be a new beginning for Indian badminton. Can the championship match its cricketing counterpart? Opinions are divided, but it’s all set for a gala start as all stake holders aim to ride a community sport that is yet to transform itself as an international event in the country. On day one of IBL, Delhi Smashers play Pune Pistons but the big fight will be on Independence Day when Sindhu (Awadhe Warriors) takes on Saina (Hyderabad Hotshots) in what will be a derby contest.