Shuttlers from top Asian nations to participate in IBL

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) Contrary to media reports, top badminton stars from leading Asian countries like Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China and Malaysia will be taking part in the Indian Badminton League (IBL).

Badminton Association of India (BAI) Saturday said that IBL has already received confirmation from top shuttlers from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and China in addition to 12 other leading badminton nations across continents.

The player auction of the IPL will take place here July 19. The IBL Auction will feature almost all the world top-50 players in both men’s and women’s categories and the current pool of 150 players for the auction is likely to increase as the last date for entry is July 5.

“We would like to keep the facts straight. A lot of effort has gone in to build the IBL and we are confident of putting up a great show as promised. For the record, seven men players in the top-10 world ranking and six players in the women’s top-10 rankings have confirmed with a total of 112 foreign players having signed up for IBL till now,” said Ashish Chadha, CEO Sporty Solutionz, the ‘Commercial Partner’ to the IBL

World No.7 and the winner of the recent Singapore Open, Indonesian’s Tommy Sugiarto leads the Indonesian parade, along with Sony Kuncoro and Lindaweni Fanetri, who are respectively the men’s world No. 10 and women’s world No.11. Hong Kong’s Hu Hyun, the men’s world No.6, Japan’s Kenichi Tago, the men’s world No.5 and women’s world No.10 Minatsu Mitani, and South Korea’s bronze medallist in the 2012 London Olympics, Lee Yong-Dae are the other top names who will figure in the bidding process.

As expected, men’s world No.1 from Malaysia, ‘Datuk’ Lee Chong Wei is set to go under the hammer at the IBL Players Auction. The other top-10 men player who have confirmed are – world No.4 Boonsak Ponsana from Thailand and Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen.

The $1-million Indian Badminton League is set to launch on August 14, 2013, with some high-voltage action expected between Hyderabad Hotshots and Karnataka Kings. The 2013 IBL will feature six franchises and will run for 18 days. Each franchise will host a two-day leg and the League will showcase a grand total of 90 matches.

The top four franchisee in the League will clash in the semifinals and the winners will meet in the grand final August 31, which will be played out in Mumbai, for the richest prize money tournament in badminton till now.

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