Chennai Smashers to play Awadhe Warriors in PBL opener
The third edition of the Premier Badminton League will be started with PV Sindhu's Chennai Smashers locking horns with Saina Nehwal's Awadhe Warriors on December 23 in Guwahati. North Eastern Warriors will take on Carolina Marin's Hyderabad Hunters on the next day of the league.
The 23-day long league has been laid out in such a way that every match will be played in the prime time slot to give the fans the best possible chance to watch the best in the world fight it out. In the league stage, each team will face the other teams once with enough gaps in between for players to recover physically. After the end of the league, the top 4 teams will proceed to the semifinals.
"This is going to be an exciting edition of the PBL, the world's biggest badminton league," Atul Pandey, managing director,
"It's a longer tournament, with eight teams in
The tournament will open in Guwahati and after four days, the bandwagon will shift to Delhi, where five ties will be held with the Delhi Dashers enjoying the benefit of playing two matches at home – against Bengaluru Blasters and Hyderabad Hunters.
In the Lucknow leg of the tournament, Viktor Axelson's Bengaluru Blasters will clash with San Wan-Ho's Mumbai Rockets and the leg will give the North Eastern Warriors and Hyderabad Hunters a solid four-day break.
The PBL bandwagon will move to Chennai after the New Year for the penultimate leg of the tournament and the battles are expected to be heavy by then as the team will be fighting for a place in the knockout stage.
After an intense five-day stint, the players will move to Hyderabad on January 10, but only two ties have been lined up here, with the Dashers meeting the Awadhe Warriors and the Hunters will meet the Blasters.
The semi-finals will take place on January 12 and 13 followed by the final, which will be held the very next day, on January 14.