The Indian Badminton League (IBL) will be revived after a two-year break, with the second edition to be held in January next year, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has said.
BAI, reportedly, has severed ties with sports marketing firm Sporty Solutionz, which held the rights to the IBL for 10 years, and has decided to organise the franchise-based league on its own.
“The matter with Sporty has already been settled in court. We had given them sufficient time to furnish the bank guarantee of Rs 50 crore which they failed,” BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta told domestic media.
“I am sure that the court will understand that BAI holds all rights regarding the sport of badminton in this country. Anyone can go to court in this country, we’ll deal with the situation if it crops up,” he added.
Das Gupta said BAI has finalised some of the franchises, a couple of whom were involved in the inaugural edition, while “a few other new owners are coming on board.”
IBL-2 is expected to get underway on January 2 across six cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.
“We are only replacing Pune with Chennai this time because we don't want the league to be held in two cities in the same state,” Das Gupta said.
“The players will be getting more money this year because we are planning to increase the salary pool from the existing Rs 1.5 crore cap. The franchise owners are already in talks with some Bollywood celebrities, offering them sweat equity in the teams. These celebrities will increase the glamour quotient of the league," he said.
Das Gupta said Chinese star power, missing in the inaugural edition, will feature in IBL-2. “"We have spoken to the Chinese federation as well as some of the players directly. The players are keen on participating and we should see some of them in IBL-2," the BAI president said.