Guwahati: Two of India’s best women shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will battle for supremacy when the Premier Badminton League (PBL) kicks off at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
In what promises to be a blockbuster opening encounter, the Sindhu led Chennai Smashers, who are also the defending champions will lock horns against one of the league’s most consistent teams- Awadhe Warriors led by none other than Saina Nehwal.
While, Saina emerged victorious in the recent match between the two at the National Championships final, Sindhu leads the head-to-head battle record 2-1 and will look to add one more when the two face off this Saturday.
The 22-year-old however played down the rivalry instead saying, “I’m looking forward to our opening match against Awadhe Warriors. It is not just my match against Saina, every match will be tough as there are some really strong teams out there. The competition is going to be really good.”
Considered to be the richest ever Badminton League with a prize money of INR 6 cr, the fourth edition of the PBL is about to get more intensed when the world no. 3 face the 11th ranked Indian on the opening day itself.
This edition will also see both the top ranked men’s shuttler Viktor Axelsen and women’s number one Tai Tzu Ying compete against the rest in a 23 day highly competitive battle.
Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, President of Badminton Association of India (BAI), believes the league will place the way for bringing more players into the game. “With 40 of the world’s best players in action, many young players will be inspired to do well and take part in the league in future,” said the BAI head.
Eight teams, including two new entrants Ahmedabad Smash Masters and North Eastern Warriors, will battle each other across the 23 days, with the top four finishers playing the semi-finals.