The strained ties between the BAI and Sporty Solutionz appear to have cast a dark shadow over the IBL happening this year. There is no doubt that Indian badminton is coming up in leaps and bounds. India has consistently had six to seven players placed in the top-50 over the last couple of years – something even powerhouses like China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia or Malaysia cannot brag about.
If there is one sport that has given India plenty of ‘respect’ on the world stage performance-wise, it has to be badminton – so what if the sport does not enjoy much corporate patronage. No one can deny the fact that Indians are fast emerging as a badminton force across the globe – without overemphasizing much one has to say that traditional powerhouses like China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Denmark are made to sweat by the Indian brigade of K Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, HS Pranoy, Ajay Jayaram, RMV Gurusaidutt and B Sai Praneeth in the men’s section and Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and PC Thulasi in the women’s section.
Given this scenario, it is little disheartening to see that there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the Indian Badminton League (IBL). Call it an ego tussle between two parties, call it anything you want, but the bottom-line is that the non-holding of the league since the inaugural edition in 2013 has only made the sport poorer more than anything else.
The IBL was a howling success in 2013 and the sport really got a ‘boost’ in terms of popularity and money. The league was seen just what the doctor ordered for Indian badminton.
One hopes that better sense prevails in the warring parties - BAI and Sporty Solutionz – and the much-talked about league is held this year. That’s all badminton lovers in the country would be hoping for!